More than 53 areas in Sweden are controlled by Islamist extremists, criminal gangs or a combination of the two. In some of these areas, open recruitment of Muslim terrorists is rampant.
The statistics were found in a report prepared by the national operative department of the police and publicized by the Stockholm regional police inspector Lars Alvarsjo, who warns that, “The legal system, which is a cornerstone of a democratic society, is about to collapse in Sweden.”
It has become an everyday occurrence that police in these areas are met by a barrage of stones and Molotov cocktails, says Alvarsjo. Even paramedics dare not enter these areas without bulletproof vests, he says.
Magnus Ranstorp, a terrorism and radicalization researcher at the Swedish National Defense College, concurs with this assessment.
“In the worst areas extremists have taken over, while the Swedes apathetically look on. The sense of justice and security are threatened as the police are about to succumb -- and it only seems to get worse,” he says.
Ranstorp says the situation is a symptom of a larger social problem. “Ordinary Swedes sit in the center of big cities and refuse to see what is happening in their world," he says.
Ranstorp predicts that warnings by the police will not be enough to wake up the population and the politicians, citing the fact that it was only when migrants poured into Sweden at a rate of 2,000 a day in August that Sweden closed its borders.
“There must be a total collapse of the police before it changes anything,” Ranstorp says. “We are in a disastrous situation with widening gaps between immigrants in the suburbs and the rest of society. It creates [both] the extreme right and Islamic radicalization."
Swedish authorities estimate that close to 300 Swedes have joined the Islamic State. In areas for Gothenburg and Stockholm, there are reports that Islamic religious police have taken over police powers.
Lack of action by Swedish authorities has contributed to the rise of the far right, as well, with one such group reportedly attacking a group of migrants in Stockholm.