Stockholm, Sweden Day 1 with Dr. Devon Smith: January 9, 2018

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By: Dr. Devon Smith

On the morning of our departure to Stockholm, Sweden we received a smattering of e-mails regarding an explosion in a subway station in Varby Gard, a suburb of Stockholm. No doubt, this news put all of our team on edge, myself included given the focus of our trip.

Our team has been sent to Sweden to research and explore the effects of mass, uncontrolled immigration into the country, and more specifically the resulting “no-go zones” and the apparent rise in sexual offenses against women. In 2016 alone, Sweden granted asylum to 67,258 refugees (77% of the total number that applied). Of the 67,258 refugees seeking asylum 44,218 (65%) were Syrian.

It would seem that perhaps some of the most significant challenges facing Sweden right now, are its immigration policy (or lack thereof), its government’s subsequent failure to acknowledge the “no-go zones” as well as their blatant refusal to allow police to racially profile perpetrators. As one of our guides put it, the government is not only not releasing new crime data, they are “covering up” statics and data that may show a correlation between an increase in crime with open border immigration.

“No-go zones,” are areas around Sweden where police patrol vehicles and even ambulances are no longer able to safely venture into for fear of attack and vandalism by immigrants. As our guide describes it, there are two societies living parallel to one another in Sweden. Those who abide by Swedish laws and standards and immigrant communities whom in his opinion, refuse to assimilate and instead relocate to Sweden while continuing to practice their own of laws which in some cases includes the Islamic social standard, Sharia.

With that being said, our guide who is ex-French military stated to me, “Muslims aren’t the problem, I fought alongside Muslims and Arabs, the problem is a specific group, the radicals.”

Upon arrival to Stockholm, we ventured immediately to Varby Gard metro station, the location of the explosion that occurred on the morning of Sunday, January 7th. There was a noticeable police presence, and we were able to talk off the record with two officers about the incident. According to these officers, there was a drug bust on the evening prior to the explosion, and although they were unwilling to discuss these details on record, the police informed us that those involved in the drug bust were immigrants involved in a gang.  In fact, the police were concerned that the alleged grenade was in fact left as retaliation towards them for the drug bust.

Part of the immigration trouble in Sweden, as noted by our guide is assimilation. Refugees come to Sweden and have nowhere to turn. Could this make them easy targets for gang recruitment? It’s very similar to the gang problems we face in our own country. When there is nowhere to turn and gangs present themselves as family, a place of protection if you will, it becomes easy to understand why the most vulnerable are easy recruiting targets.

Tomorrow, we venture into one of these so-called “no-go zones” in Rinkeby, a suburb of Stockholm. We have been prepped by our Swedish security detail, that typically there is a 90-minute window in these zones before the situation might potentially escalate to the point where we need to evacuate. As we closed out the day, we asked our guide if there were areas where all of the street signs were in Arabic. His reply: “No, or at least not yet.”

 

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