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Four arrested as Iceland rocked by ‘first terror attack plot’

Four suspects have been arrested for alleged plans for a terror attack in Iceland, police said.

Several semi-automatic weapons, some of which were 3D printed, were seized from nine different locations, along with a large amount of ammunition, computers, telephones and digital media.

Violence is extremely rare in the small European country, which tops the charts Global Peace Index since it entered its ranking in 2008.

Police said four Icelanders in their 30s were arrested in Kopavogur, a suburb of the capital Reykjavik, and the southwestern town of Mosfellsbær in a massive operation involving around 50 men on Wednesday. Two of them were taken into custody on Thursday, and the other two were released.

“The origin of yesterday’s police operations (…) is part of an investigation into the preparation of a terrorist attack,” Karl Steinar Valsson, commissioner of the Icelandic national police, told the press.

Although the motives are still unknown, the targets are believed to be “various institutions” and “citizens of the state”, according to Valsson, possibly including parliament and the police themselves.

Police said they were investigating whether the men had links to extremist organizations and were in contact with foreign authorities – with a focus on possible links to extremist groups in other countries. other Nordic countries.

“As far as we know, this is the first time such an investigation has been launched (in Iceland),” Valsson said.

There is a estimated 106,000 guns owned by civilians in Iceland – about one in three people – and most weapons are rifles and shotguns rather than handguns.

Gun crime is rare and the country has strict gun laws: there have been only 52 gun deaths in the past decade for which statistics are available, and 50 of them were suicides, according to figures compiled by the University of Sydney database.

In February, there was an incident in Reykjavik where the shooter also used a 3D printed weapon. In 2013 a the man was shot after shooting officers, it was the first time the police had shot and killed someone in Iceland.

euronews Gt

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