Sweden: Arson suspect suffers from burns

Sweden: Arson suspect suffers from burns

Anas Khalifa is a radical preacher, who made world-wide headlines when Memri translated a sermon of his in which he said "if we line up the Jews in one row and spat on them, they would faint".


They were driven by hatred against Lars Vilks. But the arson attack against the artist's house almost cost one of them their life.

Yesterday Mentor Alija (21) and Mensur Alija (19) from Landskrona were remanded into custody on suspicions of attempted arson against Lars Vilks' house Saturday evening.

(Mentor and Mensur)

This article was prepared by the Islam in Europe blog - islamineurope.blogspot.com

But only Mentor Alija was physically able to appear in the secure hall at Helsingborg court. His brother Mensur Alija is still being treated for serious burns in the Helsingborg hospital

After the attack on Vilks house a jacket was found in Vilks yard belonging to Mentor Alija, as well as several liquid filled plastic bottles.

Lawyer Johan Sederholm says that the evidence is in part troublesome for his client.

The police also found many news sites about Lars Vilks in Mentor Alijas computer.

His younger brother is suspected of having gotten his burns in Vilks' yard. The burns are believed to have been the reason the attack was broken off, and the brothers were forced to seek treatment at Helsingborg's hospital.

Prosecutor Charlotte Österlund confirms that Mensur Alija was arrested in Helsingborg's hospital the day after the attack. "He's been interrogated by the police, but can't be moved due to his injuries," she says.

Despite the evidence, the two brothers deny the crime. Neither are known for serious crimes in the past.

Both brothers reportedly turned to a radical faith recently. Mensur Alija openly declared his hatred of Lars Vilks.


Kvällsposten spoke with members of Landskrona's Islamic community, who confirmed that the brothers' religious commitment increased in recent years.

"I've met them in the community [mosque]. They started visiting it several years ago," said a community member who wished to remain anonymous.

In the past year Mensur Alija sympathized with a very orthodox branch of Islam, and even joined an internet group whose followers have a very hateful attitude towards the State of Israel.

The parents are believing Muslims, but neighbors and schoolmates say they didn't seem them as extreme.

"On the contrary, they were very nice and friendly," says a former neighbor in Landskrona.

The family came to Sweden in October 2001 from then Yugoslavia. Two months later they moved to central Landskrona.

Mentor Alija was then 12, and Mensur Alija was 11.

A few years later the picture changed. Mentor Alija and a friend were suspect of trying to break into a car. When their father moved, life split apart. The family moved to Markaryd.

In 2008, the mother and Mensur moved back to Landskrona. Shortly afterward, Mentor Alija also moved back.

Kvällsposten reports that Mensur is a close friend of the extreme Muslim preacher Anas Khalifa, who has preached in mosques about martyrdom and holy war. [Apparently Kvällsposten later removed the article].

Source: Kvällsposten 1, 2 (Swedish), TV2 Nyhetene (Norwegian)

See also:

* Sweden: Death threat, arson attack against Swedish Mohammed cartoonis

* Sweden: Two suspects arrested in arson attack

* Sweden: Suspects in Vilks attack are two brothers

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