Pre-election Violence in Sweden

In Sweden this week, gangs of masked young people used Molotov cocktails to set fire to about 100 cars in the city of Gothenburg and several other cities and towns. Sweden’s prime minister described the attacks as “very organized, almost like a military operation.” Sweden holds elections on September 9, and the anti-immigrant Sweden Democrats, a party with neo-Nazi roots, is expected to do well. The big questions: If this was some sort of pre-election protest, who were these people? What were they protesting? Will these arson attacks influence the election outcome? These questions are on the minds of politics watchers across Europe as a far-right party builds momentum ahead of a crucial vote in the country that has welcomed more migrants per capita in recent years than any other in Europe.

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