STOCKHOLM (Reuters) - Two Swedes were arrested on Thursday on suspicion of terrorist crimes in committing murder in Syria in 2013, the Swedish Prosecution Authority said, adding a third person was arrested in absentia.
In a brief press release, the authority said the apprehended suspects were Swedish citizens, 30 and 32 years old, but did not name them or identify them by gender.
“Two persons have been arrested in Gothenburg on probable cause on suspicion of terrorist crimes in committing murder,” the Prosecution Authority said in a press release.
The arrest was made in cooperation with the Swedish Security Police the authority said. It declined to give further information, citing high level of secrecy surrounding the investigation.
“The investigation is at a very sensitive stage. We will undertake intense investigation work, and more information and details of the crime will come during the proceedings,” security police spokesperson Sirpa Franzén told local news agency TT.
There have been similar arrests in Sweden earlier this year.
In a Reuters interview in March, the head of security police (SAPO) said about 300 Swedes had traveled from Sweden to Syria and Iraq to fight in groups linked to al Qaeda or Islamic State, of whom around 35 had been killed. Around 80 had returned to Sweden..
In February, a former Syrian opposition fighter was sentenced by a Swedish court to five years in prison for war crimes for a “torture-like” assault in Syria that was filmed and posted on social media.
The same month, Swedish police arrested four people on suspicion of money laundering, with local media reporting authorities believed the money had been sent to Islamic State militants in Syria. [ID.nL5N0VR38D]
According to TT, the 30-year old arrested on Thursday has been fined after being convicted for possession of a stun gun and a knife, in 2010 and 2011.
Reporting by Sven Nordenstam and Johan Ahlander, editing by Clelia Oziel