Sweden is famous for its Viking history, modern architecture, and gorgeous scenery.
However, the Nordic country is now also gaining an international reputation for a relatively new and far less appealing phenomenon: gangs of migrant youths who are taking advantage of their status as minors to get away with shocking criminal behavior.
After Sweden accepted approximately 165,000 asylum-seeking migrants in 2015, with more pouring in each year since then, gun violence has been on the rise:
“Deadly shootings per capita in Sweden are now considerably higher than the European average.”
Sexual offenses and robberies against children have also spiked, alarming the citizenry.
On July 9, 2019, a disturbing video showing a young white Swedish boy being taunted by a migrant gang has generated national concern. The teen’s attackers spoke with heavy accents and shoved a pistol into their victim’s mouth. The attackers forced the boy to lie on his back on the ground as they pointed the gun directly at his face, instructing him to kiss it.
The video then shows the boy standing upright and being forced to dance before his youthful assailants. The video was uploaded to YouTube but then deleted. One comment made before the recording disappeared observed:
“The youngsters’ voices are still cracking, and they are already running around with weapons and terrorising the Swedish people.”
Another comment read:
“A foul deed that should have been classified as a hate crime. It purely screams racism. Regardless of how clear it is, some groups get away with just about anything.”
Swedish author Björn Ranelid compared current levels of crime and violence in his country to a “small scale war that affects all people who live and live in Sweden.”
In Grums, Sweden, “A gang of migrant children aged eight to 12 have been terrorizing locals in Grums, Sweden with taunts, physical assaults, and even rape threats.”
A local resident reported:
“They have thrown rocks or beaten [other kids] with sheet metal pipes and sticks so children started to bleed. The worst thing was that a child was strangled and received marks. But it is also about sexual threats: ‘I will rape you,’ they say.”
Police officer Lennart Hynynen said he had never witnessed anything like this before:
“I have never experienced that such small children do such things. They have poured garbage into people’s mailboxes, jerked up flowers, and threatened both children and adults sexually. The residents are afraid.”
Dealing with aggressively violent migrant youth is complicated by the fact that their parents are new arrivals to Sweden who don’t speak the local language.
Hynynen said that migrant gang violence has been occurring throughout Sweden for the past year but has escalated in recent months.
Police in Gothenburg have “been forced to implement extraordinary measures to cope with the increased number” of gang-related violent incidents at Nordstan, the nation’s largest shopping center by sales and number of visitors.
Police Rikard Serensen said that the shopping center has become a No-Go zone where migrant youths intimidate police, threaten girls, and deal drugs openly:
“There are a lot of drugs circulating. I wouldn’t even let my son go down to North Town [where the shopping center is located]. There is a risk of robbery, but also harassment of girls.”
Finally, it has become clear that incoming migrants are lying about their age in order to enter as minors in order to gain more legal protections from criminal prosecution. A fingerprint check conducted by Swedish and Moroccan authorities revealed that 90 percent of asylum seekers claiming to be children are actually adults. How many Moroccan migrants reside in Sweden is unknown:
“Neither the police nor the National Board of Health and Welfare have an exact figure on how many unaccompanied Moroccans are currently in Sweden, as many enter the country illegally.”
What is known is that, once identified, illegal migrants simply move to another part of Europe. Border police manager Christian Frödén said:
“When we find their identity they leave the country and move on to other cities in Europe such as Barcelona or Paris. They do not want the police to know who they are because then they can be punished and be expelled to Morocco.”
The fair-minded and socially tolerant 10 million residents of Sweden are bewildered by the recent onslaught of youth gangs and unsure how to cope. Officials have been slow and unsure how to react in the face of this brand new wave of foreign cruelty.
The Swedish public is calling for tougher policies on crime and immigration. Will the liberal country, led by an all-female governing body, be able to restore order? Only time will tell.