Scandinavian nations fear terror attacks after Islamabad bombing

June 3rd, 2008 - 5:50 pm ICT by IANS  

By Alfred de Tavares
Stockholm, June 3 (IANS) All Scandinavian countries have placed their respective embassies around the world on ‘red alert’ following the suicide car bombing Monday outside the Danish embassy in Islamabad, Pakistan. The measures follow dire warnings by many experts that the Islamabad terror attack can be “the harbinger of a wave of imminent such attacks across Europe”.

“The bombing in Pakistan can be a step towards such terror attacks against targets throughout Europe,” Mehdi Mozaffari, a professor at Denmark’s Aarhus university and an Islamic expert, told IANS Tuesday.

“I will not directly state that this attack is a certain prelude to attacks in Denmark. However, the attack in Islamabad does, most uncannily, recall very much the attacks against US’s installations in Kenya and Tanzania that were prelude to the Sept 11 (terror strike),” said Mozaffari.

Calling the powerful explosion “cowardly and odious”, Danish Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen said: “Denmark will not bow to such dastardly deeds and change its politics in response to terror.”

Condemning the bomb blast in Islamabad, Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt said: “The attack against the Danish embassy in Pakistan is very grave and totally unacceptable and deserves our strongest condemnation.”

“It has been with very great sorrow and alarm that I received the news of this meaningless bomb attack today (Monday) against the Danish embassy in Islamabad. My heart goes out to the victims of this horrendous deed,” said Bildt.

“The attack”, added Bildt, “demonstrates a further escalation of the violence in Pakistan. This deed of terror attack proves that we must relentlessly continue the international fight against terrorism in all its forms.”

Danish government sources said that out of the eight victims of the bombing, one was a Danish citizen of Pakistani origin. With the exception of the Danish citizen, all the others were either embassy employees or police personnel guarding the embassy.

A Swedish foreign ministry official, referring to the Mohammed cartoons controversy that erupted in 2005 upon their publication in the Danish mass-circulation daily Jyllands-Posten, told IANS: “Since the ferocious multiple attacks that were launched in February 2006 across the Muslim world, most notably in Lebanon, Syria, Pakistan and the Far East, against the Danish and Nordic embassies as a consequence of the 12 published Mohammed caricatures, most western embassies, around the world, situated in the proximity of their Danish counterpart are most wary. They would like to put a distance between themselves and such a liability.”

To a query on whether any stringent security measures have been put at place at the Swedish Embassy in New Delhi after the Islamabad attack, Carl Bildt’s press secretary Irena Busic said: “But, the question does not arise.”

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