Insights from the dashboard: The rise of terrorism in Sweden
In the past two years, the number of news articles concerning terrorism has significantly risen in Sweden. This article will explain why.
News on terrorism in Europe
TheEARS dashboard is a database of thousands of summarised news articles from all across Europe. It can help you discover trends and developments around many topics and phenomena in relation to religion in the European news. On the dashboard’s top panel, we can adjust the timeframe of our interest and choose the global development we want to learn more about. In this article, we have adjusted the time frame from October 2021 to October 2023 and selected the global development of terrorism from the top panel. These filters provide us with 248 news articles.
From the dashboard’s left panel, we can explore the results of our search in more detail by choosing the ‘Countries’ tab. This tool offers us the image of the world map, which addresses the countries that are most often covered in the scope of our search. As shown in the picture below, Sweden and France are among the most often covered countries in the articles concerning terrorism.
Zooming into Sweden
To learn about the languages in which the news articles featured on the EARS dashboard are written, we can select ‘Languages’ on the dashboard’s left panel. As shown below, many of the news articles concerning terrorism in Europe are written in Swedish, Dutch, Finnish, or English. Of course, the dashboard is not a complete reflection of all European news. However, it does give a clear image of overall trends. As Sweden is one of the most often occurring languages, we decide to narrow our scope to Sweden only for this article.
Terrorism in Sweden
To narrow down our search to Sweden only, we can choose Sweden from the dashboard’s top panel, which gives us 52 news articles in total.
To learn more about the occurrence of terrorism in these articles, we can select the tool ‘Timelines’ on the dashboard’s left panel. As evident in the picture below, the topic of terrorism has risen significantly in the year 2023, and during the past months in particular.
To understand more about this rise of terrorism and its relation to Sweden, we can scan into the timeline of ‘People and Entities’. This tool shows us which individuals, communities, and organisations are most often mentioned in the news articles of our scope. As the picture below illustrates, the most often occurring people and entities in the news articles of our search are Hamas, Rasmus Paludan, Ulf Kristersson, North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), ISIS, and Salwan Momika.
The rise of the terrorism threat in Sweden
The news articles of our search clearly demonstrate that during the past months, the threat of terrorism has significantly risen in Sweden. Not only has Sweden levelled up its national terror threat level from three to four on a five-point scale,  but there have also been many attempts of terrorist attacks,   as well as one completed attack on three Swedish football supporters in Belgium, leading to the death of two innocent people.  
The worsening security situation in Sweden is a result of a chain of events that started when Rasmus Paludan and later Salwan Momika burned Korans as an expression of opinion in Sweden.   This raised anger in many Muslim countries, and some terrorist organisations such as ISIS and Al-Qaeda urged their supporters to attack Sweden as an act of revenge.    Sweden’s NATO application was also prolonged, as Turkey condemned the burning of the Korans.  Ulf Kristersson, the Prime Minister of Sweden, has tried to explain the situation many times in international media to find peace and agreement between Sweden and Muslim countries. Not only has he tried to explain the Swedish regulation on freedom of speech, but he has also encouraged the Swedes to keep wearing the national colours when travelling abroad. However, at the moment, it seems that Sweden must stay cautious as the threat of terrorism remains unchanged.
The war in Israel and its relationship with Sweden
The ongoing war between Israel and the terrorist organisation Hamas in the Middle East does not help Sweden’s security situation. As in many European countries, in Sweden, too, protestors have gathered to show their support for Palestine, yelling the following sentence: ”From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free!” The same sentence is used by Hamas, and is interpreted by some to be s antisemitic. There are thus currently various threats of terrorism emerging, and according to the Belgian authorities, the death of two Swedish football supporters may also relate to the ongoing conflict in Israel.
Terrorism in an interconnected world
By exploring the dashboard from the perspective of terrorism, we can learn a lot about the past and present tensions concerning Sweden. The news articles we skimmed through showed how people and entities such as the terrorist organisation Hamas and the Prime Minister of Sweden, Ulf Kristersson, have appeared in the news. This demonstrates that we live in an interrelated, globalised world, where events happening in one country affect the other.
Learn more on the EARS dashboard
The dashboard allows you to gain insights into a large number of topics, including terrorism. It is a free tool that allows you to make connections like those described above, and to find out about relationships between interesting subjects across Europe. Please visit the dashboard to learn more.
Our team of analysts conducts research on topics relating to religion and society. Find out their relationships on the EARS Dashboard.