Icelandic police thwart a terrorist attack on Parliament. Four arrests

Icelandic police thwart a terrorist attack on Parliament. Four arrests

The investigation, the first of its kind in Iceland, aims to highlight the possible links between those arrested, all in their twenties, with foreign extremist organizations

Reykjavik police announced that they had foiled a terrorist attack on Iceland’s parliament and arrested four suspected attackers. They would all be Icelandic and about twenty years old.

The news of the maxi operation involving about 50 agents was given by Karl Steinar Valsson, national commissioner of the Icelandic police, at a press conference.

The suspects were arrested in Kopavogur, a suburb of the capital Reykjavik, and in the southwestern city of Mosfellsbaer. Dozens of firearms seized, including semi-automatic ones. The reasons for the attack remain “unknown” at the moment, but according to Valsson the targets included “various institutions” and “citizens of the state”, including parliament and the police.

The agents have opened an investigation to find out if there are links between the arrested people and extremist organizations, and if they were in contact with foreign realities. “As far as we know – underlined the national police commissioner – this is the first time that such an investigation has been launched” in Iceland.

The small nation of 375,000 has been at the top of the Global Peace Index since it was listed in 2008 as the “most peaceful country in the world”. Iceland has one of the lowest crime rates in the world.