Police investigator Peter Springare isn’t likely to be among those mocking President Trump for his remarks about refugees in Sweden.
Trump’s comments during a Florida campaign rally on Saturday – which some took as a misstatement about a supposed terror attack – dovetail with what Springare has been seeing during a typical week in Orebro, Sweden. Five rapes, three assaults, a pair of extortions, blackmail, an attempted murder, violence against police and a robbery made up Springare’s caseload for a five-day period earlier this month, according to a Feb. 3 Facebook post he wrote. The suspects were all from Muslim-majority countries – Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, Somalia and Turkey – save for one Swedish man nabbed in a drug-related case.
“Mohammed, Mahmod, Ali, again and again,” Springare wrote of those arrested.
Springare, who was briefly investigated for possible hate crime incitement based on his post, managed to elucidate what Trump only hinted at during a Florida campaign speech – somewhat opaquely.
“You look at what’s happening last night in Sweden,” Trump said. “Sweden. Who would believe this? Sweden. They took in large numbers. They’re having problems like they never thought possible.”
Many analysts took issue with Trump’s “last night” framing, and immediately compared the line to recent misstatements by Trump spokespeople, such as counselor Kellyanne Conway’s infamous “Bowling Green Massacre” blunder.
But Trump explained on Twitter late Sunday that he was only referring to a Fox News segment that aired on Friday night’s “Tucker Carlson Tonight” dealing with the Swedish refugee crime.
My statement as to what's happening in Sweden was in reference to a story that was broadcast on @FoxNews concerning immigrants & Sweden.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 19, 2017
“It seems like we may be missing the point of the story, which is there has been a massive social cost associated with the refugee policies and the immigration policies of Western Europe,” Carlson said on “Fox & Friends” on Monday morning.
He added: “Fifty years of immigration policy is coming to flower in Europe. We’re not paying any attention. We’re not drawing any of the obvious lessons from it. It’s not working. That’s the real point here. ”
Trump tweeted again on Monday morning, blasting media outlets that failed to report on Sweden’s migrant crime epidemic.
“Give the public a break – The FAKE NEWS media is trying to say that large scale immigration in Sweden is working out just beautifully. NOT!” Trump wrote.
Give the public a break – The FAKE NEWS media is trying to say that large scale immigration in Sweden is working out just beautifully. NOT!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 20, 2017
Fox News reached out to the Swedish Embassy for comment, however, the building was closed for President’s Day. The embassy did tweet back to Trump on Sunday: “We look forward to informing the US administration about Swedish immigration and integration policies.”
We look forward to informing the US administration about Swedish immigration and integration policies. https://t.co/x5G3euOWRh
— Embassy of Sweden US (@SwedeninUSA) February 19, 2017
Last month, the police chief for the southern Swedish city of Malmo issued a desperate plea for help curtailing a plague of attempted murders, beatings and rapes. About 32 percent of Malmo’s occupants are migrants, although it is not clear what role migrants play in the crime wave.
“We cannot do it on our own,” Chief Stefan Sinteus wrote in an open letter about the “upward spiral of violence.”
And Sinteus is not merely dealing with typical crimes that any modern city would witness.
Malmo had 52 hand grenade attacks in 2016 alone, a jump from 48 attacks in 2015, according to figures provided by the Swedish Police Authority.
Nationwide, the terror threat level is at “elevated” and police believe at least 300 Swedish nationals have travelled to Syria and Iraq for jihadi training. On Feb. 11, a Swedish man and a Danish man were arrested in Turkey, suspected of plotting to carry out attacks in Europe. Tofik Saleh, a 38-year-old Swedish citizen of Iraqi origin, had been training with ISIS since 2014, officials said.
On the same day Springare posted his screed, a Swedish court turned over to Belgium evidence – seized in Malmo – in connection with the 2016 Brussels terror attacks, prosecutors said.
Sweden has taken in 650,000 asylum-seekers during the past 15 years – including 163,000 in 2015 alone, The Spectator reported. Of those refugees, 35,000 were unaccompanied children – or at least claimed to be. The children – mostly males from Afghanistan and Somalia – are only identified as minors by the age the applicant gives. The only time an applicant-provided age is rejected is if it’s “obviously” untrue, though there’s no clear definition of “obviously.” The Spectator interviewed asylum-seekers who admitted to lying about their age to improve their chances of avoiding deportation.
Carlson warned this mass influx of migrants, many of whom are uneducated and jobless, has begun to alter the face – and crime rates – of countries such as Sweden.
“[The integration policy] hasn’t worked very well, at all,” Carlson said. “And it’s in the process of totally changing these ancient cultures into something different and much more volatile and much more threatening, so what are the lessons we should draw from this? That’s the conversation we should have.”