It seems that every act of terrorism that takes place in Sweden is the first. We are a very forgetful people. Also, some acts fall into oblivion as people don’t think about them as terrorism. Like when a white young male shoot people in a school. That can’t count as terrorism, right?
Generally people in Sweden asked to name a terror act here, tend to think about situations like when the Western Germany embassy was occupied in the 1970’s, a decade that also had an attempted kidnapping of a politician, and a hijacking of an airplane that lead to that a handful of criminals were set free from a prison. In the 1970’s about 300 persons lost their lives every year in Europe by acts of terrorism. In the 1980’s it dropped to about 200 persons every year. Terrorists that wanted to throw the European world into disarray and chaos didn’t succeed. We are richer, as well in cultural as economic and social aspects. The organisations behind those terror attacks have vanished, or been shattered. Our way of life has gone on uninterrupted. But we still need to take terrorism seriously.
Every act cannot be the first. There was an attempted suicide attack in Stockholm in december 2010, but that man only managed to kill himself, fortunately. In 2015, three persons were killed in a shooting in a school, where the terrorist wanted Sweden to change its’ immigration laws, he only shot immigrants which made the police classify it as a hate crime. Murderers with a political agenda have been classified as perhaps political, but mostly just considered to be lone wolfs engaging in hate crime killings. Political or not, even politicians have been murdered here. In 2003 the Foreign Minister was murdered. In 1986 our Prime Minister was murdered. It’s not something that happens to many other nations.
Terrorism, individual or not, is a strategy, not an actor or an agent. Strategies are hard to take legal action against. But Sweden is a society that will not fall, like none of the neighboring countries struck by acts of terrorism has in the past. Our way of life is too strong for that. Perhaps terrorists believe that our way of hedonic life, our openness and freedom is something that makes us weak. It’s not. It’s what makes us strong. Our way of life is strong in every person. It makes us powerful. Acts of terrorism will try to silence us, but we will not be silenced.