A racist sniper on the loose

Police fear attacks over the past year are the work of a single sniper motivated by racism

Peeter Kopvillem
A racist sniper on the loose
Scanpix Sweden/Reuters

The success of the far right, anti-immigrant Sweden Democrats party in the recent elections shocked many Swedes, and brought thousands out to protest against the policies the party espouses. Now it appears someone has been taking racist sentiment to a new level, further eroding what was once a proud tradition of tolerance in this Nordic country. Last week in Malmö, Sweden’s third largest city, two female migrants from eastern Europe were shot and wounded through their apartment window. Two more shootings quickly followed, the latest in a long string of attacks over the past year that police fear is the work of a single sniper motivated by racism. Indeed, just prior to last week’s shooting, the authorities had issued a grim warning: “If you have dark skin you should be extra cautious,” said a police spokesman. “If you are in the risk group you should avoid lonely places like bus stops at night.”

Malmö police have solicited the aid of a veteran detective who played a major role in the apprehension of another anti-immigrant sniper who terrorized the Stockholm area. Those attacks took place in the early 1990s—when the far right had also been making political inroads.