The pro-terrorist Swedish Resistance Movement's top brass moves in with German nazi lawyer Jürgen Rieger. Its chief, former White Aryan Resistance (VAM) top gun and convicted killer, Klas Lund, is arrested on arms charges. Rieger's mansion is allegedly torched. And on top of all this, two thousand nazi's march through south Stockholm in one of Europe's biggest fascist events of the year.
It has been a busy time for Swedish Nazis recently.
This story actually begins, however, with the formation of the racist campaign organisation Keep Sweden Swedish (BSS) in the early 1980s. BSS, breaking out of the boundaries imposed on isolated post-war fascist sects, heralded the arrival of a new extreme rightwing in Sweden. BSS, indeed, was the sewer where all could swim, be they nazi revisionists, uniformed loonies, malcontents and misfits, skinhead brawlers or just suit and tie "respectable" racists.
However briefly, the Swedish extreme right was united in BSS until two separate strands began to evolve.
One part of BSS adjusted its ties and took inspiration from Jean- Marie Le Pen of the French Front National. This group developed into the successful Sweden Democrats (SD) party, which today can boast 76,000 votes (1.4 percent) and 50 seats on local councils. Following the 2002 elections, the SD is the largest party outside parliament.
The other faction took its cue from William Pierce's Turner Diaries and similar, mostly US-based nazi conspiracy theories, striving to initiate RAHOWA, Racial Holy War against the so- called Zionist Occupation Government (ZOG) of the Western world.
BSS reached the crossroads on Midsummer's eve in 1986, when a mob of about a hundred skinheads gathered to get drunk and to harass immigrant families at the popular seaside resort of Nicksta near Stockholm. Anti-racist Ronny Landin, aged 19, objected to the harassment and was swiftly surrounded by a group of skinheads who proceeded to kick and beat him to a bloody pulp. He died as one skinhead repeatedly jumped up and down on his head.
Ronny Landin's murder made national headlines and initiated a series of events whose repercussions have still not come to their natural conclusion. Five skinheads were eventually charged and sentenced for the killing, one of them, Klas Lund, receiving four years' jail as one of the main participants.
Lund was released in late 1989 and took up Lund was released in late 1989 and took up a municipally-paid position as caretaker of the skinhead barracks at the Ice House in Stockholm, a do-gooder youth project. The Ice House became a government and state-sponsored hothouse of nazi activity where organisations were formed and actions planned.
By 1991, a new nazi entity emerged: White Aryan Resistance (VAM) which became infamous for its burglaries of military arms depots and its hi-jacking of a Stockholm area police station to steal over 30 Sig-Sauer automatic pistols...guns for the nazi revolution.
For several months in 1991, Lund headed the "most wanted" list in Sweden. He was eventually captured following a bank robbery in the remote northeast of the country, close to the Norwegian border. This time, he was sentenced to six years in prison.
VAM was more of a concept than an actual organisation. Still, most of today's nazi organisations in Sweden, one way or another, originate from it. The National Socialist Front (NSF), was launched in 1992 as a local VAM outfit in the southern town of Karlskrona and a number of VAM supporters went on to form the core of today's Blood & Honour/Scandinavia, while nazi prisoners' aid organisations like the Aryan Brotherhood and the Yellow Cross were formed specifically to support VAM activists behind bars.
On his release in 1996, Klas Lund again became a key organiser of hardcore Swedish nazism, now heading a latter-day version of VAM called Swedish Resistance (SMR), an small and conspiratorial elite sect made up of, among others, several hardened nazi criminals with ties to the underworld, the Hell's Angels and professional bank robbers. In the aftermath of the brutal Malexander killing of two policemen in 1999, a key SMR associate, David Twaland, alias David Emilsson, was sentenced for selling arms to a member of the Malexander gang. He was arrested in the company of Patrik Huisman, a VAM man in the early 1990s, who now heads the Brotherhood MC, an outlaw biker's association.
Ever since its formation in 1998, Swedish Resistance has been a shadowy outfit, often lurking in the background. The organisation still promotes a Turner Diaries-type philosophy, although activism is mostly left to its broader youth front, National Youth (NU).
Several perpetrators of nazi terrorism in 1999 - the double police murder in Malexander, the still unsolved car bombing of two anti-fascist journalists and the assassination of trade unionist Björn Söderberg - were tied to National Youth (NU).
For a while headed by Erik Hägglund, NU developed close ties to the German nazi NPD. In 2000, NU activists travelled to Germany to hold "survival training camps" with the NPD's youth organisation. Hägglund has since left the NU and is today working hand in glove with Baltic Inkasso, a debt-collecting firm run by a fellow nazi, Leif Larsson, who has moved to Tallinn in Estonia. Baltic Inkasso became notorious when it left a box with a pig's head on the stairs t the home of one of its debtors.
Generally, SMR has seemed to be content with remaining in the NU's shadows but this state of affairs changed dramatically in 2003. All of a sudden, the SMR started to engage in a flurry of activity. Earlier this year, it merged with the Norwegian Boot Boys, forming the Norwegian Resistance Novement (NMB), which is made up of some of Norway's most hardened nazi criminals. Together, they launched a new magazine, National Resistance, again promoting the legacy of the proto-terrorist Turner Diaries.
But more interestingly, the SMR has surfaced for the first time in public activity. In November, the SMR called for a rally in Gothenburg, followed, two weeks later, by yet another event in nearby Trollhättan. Speeches were made about the "multicultural threat to Sweden". At the same time, the "reverend" Magnus Söderman stepped forward as the public de facto leader of the SMR. Söderman, a brilliant speaker, has a background in the abortive attempt to launch a Swedish section of Aryan Nations a few years ago. The SMR has also carried out a number of leafleting activities in what seems to be an attempt to find fresh blood for the organisation.
During the autumn, the SMR moved its operations from Stockholm to a more remote countryside area near the mid- Swedish town of Skövde. Peter Johansson, heading a SMR merchandising front, moved in as a house guest at the Svaneby mansion owned by the infamous German nazi lawyer, Jürgen Rieger, while Klas Lund rented an isolated countryside cottage nearby. Other SMR activists were also spotted coming and going at the Rieger residence.
Contacts between Rieger and the SMR had actually been ongoing for some time and, in August this year, Magnus Söderman was one of the speakers at the annual Rudolf Hess rally in Wunsiedel, Germany.
One reason partly explaining the flurry of SMR activities may actually be the emergence of the National Democrats (ND), a 2001 Sweden Democrat splinter in Stockholm which has, ever since, been soaking up NU activists.
Although the ND and the SMR are able to cooperate in public activities, there is no love lost between the leaders of the two fascist organisations. Representatives of the NU as well as the NSF have complained heavily about the ND's attempts to grab headlines and take all the credit for joint efforts.
In late November, Swedish police swooped on eight key leaders of the Swedish nazi movement, both the SMR and NSF, carting off computers, mobile phones and address books.
The raids were conducted on suspicions of "illegal paramilitary activities". Both the NSF and the SMR activists hold countryside "survival training camps" and "self-defence" training.
Lund's cottage near Rieger's mansion was one of the targets of the raids and Lund was dramatically arrested for illegal possession of a firearm. The SMR attempted to counter the charge by producing a fall guy who was ready to take the blame and confess that it was actually his gun, but this effort flopped as Klas Lund, following a few nights in prison, confessed to the charge. After confessing, Lund was released from custody but will face trial in the near future. Other nazi's targeted in the raid were NSF chief Anders Ärleskog and former NSF propaganda chief, Björn Björkqvist.
The raids took place shortly before the main Swedish nazi event of the year, the Salem march in south Stockholm on 6 December, which has now surpassed the 30 November King Karl XII commemoration, as the most important annual gathering.
The Salem event is a recent tradition, commemorating 17-year- old skinhead Daniel Wretström, who was brutally beaten and stabbed to death by a mixed youth gang of Swedes and immigrants in December 2000. Wretström was immediately hailed as the "Swedish Horst Wessel" and has, in death, become a rallying point for a united nazi movement.
Officially, the Salem rally is organised as a "protest against immigrant violence against Swedes" by the Salem Fund, a front for Robert Vesterlund's pro-terrorist Info-14, but, in reality, it is a joint enterprise by the National Democrats, the National Socialist Front, Swedish Resistance and Blood & Honour. The event has rapidly grown in importance and is today an event that paralyses the small municipality of Salem for a whole day each year.
This year's Salem rally was a major victory for Swedish fascist extremism, gathering more than two thousand nazi's, compared with the less than a thousand anti-nazis who attended a counter demonstration.
The strength of the nazi rally compares well with the Hess march in Wunsiedel, Bavaria, which gathered 2,600 participants in August last year. Salem has thus developed into one of the most important militant nazi events in Europe and this year saw the presence of about a hundred Germans from Hamburg and Dortmund, and smaller groups from Italy, Holland, Russia and Britain.
The keynote theme of the speeches delivered in Salem was a declaration of war against "Jewish society", camouflaged as a call for "struggle against the cosmopolitans".
An early speaker was the young suit and tie fascist, Jonas de Geer, who first became known as the editor of the upmarket radical-conservative magazine Salt a few years ago. Salt folded when its financiers backed down after exposure of the fact that the magazine was little more than a cover for traditional anti- Semitism and was featuring revisionist historians like David Irving.
He was followed by, among others, Magnus Söderman and ND leader Tor Paulsson. "I have not come here to mourn. I have not come to speak of sorrow. I have come to state that the time of mourning is past and the time of total resistance has begun," Söderman said.
"One day we will teach these cosmopolitans, liberals, humanists or whatever this pack of traitors calls themselves. One day they will answer for their crimes," he threatened.
ND leader Tor Paulsson took the violent rhetoric another step. "One day all those who have contributed to the oppression and the defamations will receive their just punishment. At that point in time [former Left Party leader] Gudrun Schyman, [prime minister] Göran Persson and all other traitors will answer to us. I promise you all that punishment will be felt," he said.
In short, Salem 2003 was a declaration of war by the board of directors of Nazism Inc, Sweden.
The last speaker at Salem was the British fascist Gareth Hurley from the Final Conflict magazine, who also spoke at last year's march. He droned on about the "ethnic group" controlling world economy.
In a parallel development, a building at Rieger's Svaneby mansion was destroyed by fire late at night following the Salem march. Police have not reached any conclusions about the causes of the blaze but arson is being considered.
Pat Hennings for Antifa-Net in Stockholm