May 19, 2019

Swedish police arrest two after explosion rocks Jewish building

Swedish police arrested two men in connection with an explosion that rocked a Jewish community building in Malmö.

The explosion took place early in the morning on Sept. 28, according to Fred Kahn, board chairman of the Malmö Jewish community.

“There was an explosion and someone also threw a rock at the windows at the entrance to the community house,” he said.

The suspects, both 18, have no prior criminal record, according to the daily Skanska Dagbladet. Both denied any involvement in the explosion, according to Anders Lindell, a Malmö police officer and spokesman.

[Related: My Shabbat in Malmo by Rabbi Abraham Cooper]

“Witness reports led us to arrest the two suspects near, but not immediately at the scene,” Lindell said, adding that “the forensics report from the scene of the crime is finished but needs to be reviewed.” 

Kahn added, “We are shocked by this incident, which was definitely a deliberate attack. The community has upped its security arrangements, but we are continuing as usual. The Jewish kindergarten is going to stay open, and all services will continue.”

Hannah Rosenthal, the Obama administration’s outgoing special envoy for combating anti-Semitism, has accused Reepalu in the past of making “anti-Semitic statements.” 

Reepalu has advised Jews who want to be safe in Malmö to reject Zionism. He also has said that the Jewish community had been “infiltrated” by anti-Muslim agents and has denied that Muslims perpetrated the attacks on Malmö Jews.

On a Sunday earlier this month, dozens of Jews from Denmark visited Malmö to express their solidarity with the city’s Jewish community.