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Sweden, Norway hold suspects after terror raids

Police in Sweden and Norway detained six people on Thursday on suspicion of offences related to terrorism after carrying out coordinated raids.

The move comes just over a week after Norway's intelligence agency said that the threat of terror attacks by Islamic radicals was rising in part because of the country's military presence in Afghanistan. Norway has about 500 troops in Afghanistan as part of the NATO mission.

There have been no major terror attacks in the Nordic region, but Sweden's Security Service has warned that the country might serve as a recruiting ground and source of finance for terrorism elsewhere.

"Three people have been taken into custody," said Maria Martinsson, spokeswoman for the Swedish Security Service.

"They are suspected of preparing terrorist activity and of financing terrorism."

The three, all Swedish citizens, were held in raids around the capital Stockholm.

Norway's state security police said they had detained three people in the capital Oslo on suspicion of funding terrorist activities abroad. Police also raided at least two Internet cafes in Oslo and took away computer equipment.

"We are looking for evidence," spokesman Martin Bernsen said.

Those detained will be brought before a court, probably on Friday or Saturday, he added.


Sweden's Security Service said their actions had nothing to do with Danish cartoons of the Prophet Mohammad, which sparked deadly riots in 2006 or with a Swedish artist, threatened by extremists over his drawing of the Prophet last year.

In Denmark, police arrested two Tunisians and a Dane of Moroccan descent earlier this month, accusing them of planning to kill a cartoonist who drew one of the images of the Prophet.

Two men were jailed in Sweden in 2005 for collecting money to fund attacks in Iraq. Three Swedish Muslims were also jailed in 2006 for fire-bombing an Iraqi election office and planning an attack on a church.

In Norway, two men stand charged of plotting a terror attack against the U.S. and Israeli embassies in Oslo in 2006.

One of them, a Norway-born Pakistani, has also been charged with firing about a dozen shots with an automatic weapon into the wall of a synagogue in September 2006, which put the police on to the trail of the embassy plot.

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