Four men suspected of targeting “various institutions of society” and “citizens of the state” in Iceland have been arrested following an unprecedented investigation into an alleged terrorist plot. Karl Steinar Valsson, the national commissioner of the Icelandic police, did not reveal much about the nature of the targets, but suggested they may have included the parliament and police.
A large police operation involving 50 officers seized semi-automatic weapons, including 3D-printed ones, at nine locations, as well as “thousands” of rounds of ammunition. Local media reported that officers were exploring potential links to Nordic far-right groups.
The four arrested Icelanders, in their 20s, were caught in Kópavogur, a suburb of the capital Reykjavík and in the south-western town of Mosfellsbær in an operation led by special forces.
Talking about the investigation, Valsson said, “We are just starting some work and are seizing a large amount of phones and computers and other such things. All that work is in the very early stages. We took certain measures while we were getting the situation under control.”
“At its peak, there were about 50 police personnel who took part in the police operation. With them, we think we’ve covered what we’re investigating and don’t think there’s any danger in travelling.”
“As far as we know, this is the first time that an investigation of this type has been launched [in Iceland],” he said at a press conference. Valsson also did not rule out more arrests.
Iceland is considered one of the most peaceful places in the world and has topped the Global Peace Index since 2008. However, lately, the country that has one of the lowest crime rates in the world, is witnessing a rise in violent crimes.
(With inputs from agencies)