Former gang leader Ghulam Abbas is shaken by the wave of violence in Sweden. Now he considers that all means must be tried to reduce the conflict between the criminal networks.
– It is absolutely terrible, frightening and creates insecurity in the environment and society in general. When the rules of the game are broken, for example by seeking out mothers or sisters, it becomes like living in the animal world, says Abbas to VG.
He has been the leader of the so-called B gang in this country and has previously sentenced to prison for money laundering and mafia activities. Now he is an environmental worker and student, and that he recently told about his life in the book “The Godfather”.
– Over the line
– Have you crossed a line when the violence also affects mothers and sisters?
– Yes, then you have definitely crossed the line. Now we see that there are no longer any rules of the game in the conflict unfolding in Sweden, and that the situation is becoming more and more serious, says Abbas and continues:
– As a rule, you try not to involve the innocent in such environments, but in Sweden it now seems that you are far past that. When you attack homes with bombs, you know that it can also hit others.
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Wave of violence
Recently, there have been a number of violent and shooting incidents in Sweden, which are linked, among other things, to an internal conflict in the criminal gang referred to as the Foxtrot network. Among those killed are criminals, their relatives and random victims.
After three murders in just a few hours on Wednesday and Thursday, Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson (M) sounded the alarm. From now on, the Swedish Defense Forces will assist the police in combating the criminal networks.
Abbas considers that the situation indicates that all measures should be considered.
– When you have come as far as you have now in Sweden, you have to try all possible means. It has completely taken off and it is necessary to extinguish the fire. In addition, one must try to ensure that such a situation does not arise again, with both short- and long-term work.
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Manne Gerell, criminologist at Malmö University, also believes that the rules of the game in Sweden have changed.
He highlights four things that distinguish this conflict from other situations in the country.
The first is – as Abbas mentions – that innocent people are dragged into the conflicts.
– They kill people who are not criminals themselves. They attack parents and the like. It is clearly a new tactic. It has happened before, but not at the same level as now, says Gerell to VG.
He also highlights the age of the people who carry out the acts of violence.
– There are even younger people involved now. You see young people as young as 13 who both attack and are attacked.
The criminologist believes that a recent change in the law may have helped to influence that trend.
– Previously, it was the case that if you were 18–20 years old, you received a lesser sentence because you were so young. It has now been removed.
– As an 18-year-old you can get a lifetime, but as a 17-year-old you get a strong discount. They rarely get more than four years in youth prison. Thus, it is more logical for the gangs to use minors.
Bombing and “civil war”
Gerell refers to Sweden as one of the few European countries that have to have their own state ethics regarding annual bomb attacks.
– Sweden is already a country that has many bomb attacks, but this year there have been many. It will be a new record.
Nevertheless, it is the internal conflict in the criminal gang Foxtrot which is most startling to the criminologist.
– This year’s situation is unique because it has largely only dealt with the criminal group Foxtrot. Most of the attacks this year are linked to Foxtrot.
It is a big contrast to previous years.
– When the violence figures are as high as they are now, there are normally many criminal networks in different parts of the country. It doesn’t seem like it is now.