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Terror investigation changes hands over family link

29.09.2022 - 20:59
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 Mynd: RÚV
Yesterday, the state police chief informed the office of the state prosecutor of her decision to stand down from the investigation of the case of suspected preparation of a terrorist attack, it was revealed at a press conference today. It was also revealed that most of the weapons seized by police in the case were factory-made but later adapted.

The announcement was made by Sveinn Ingiberg Magnússon, the senior police officer within the office of the state prosecutor. There were no representatives of the state police, which had been in charge of the investigation, at the press conference.

The reason state police chief Sigríður Björk Guðjónsdóttir declared herself unfit to lead the investigation is that her father’s home has been searched by police this week. He is a well-known gunsmith and weapons dealer.

According to RÚV sources, her father’s name, Guðjón Valdimarsson, came up during interrogation of the suspects, which led to his home being searched yesterday. He is a well-known (and legal) maker and seller of guns—including on his website

He is believed to have a very large collection of guns, with sources saying he has a collector’s licence which allows him to own guns that would otherwise be illegal in Iceland, for example if they have historical significance. Police have not given any details of how Guðjón might be connected to the case.

At the press conference today, it was also confirmed that the one week custody of one of the suspects has been extended by a further week. The other suspect was already remanded in custody for two weeks. Others have been arrested, but only two are being held under court order.

Capital region police chief Grímur Grímsson told reporters that 17 raids have been carried out so far, and 60 devices confiscated, containing electronic data, including phones and computers. Dozens of firearms have also been confiscated during the searches—some of which had been assembled with the aid of 3D-printed parts, and parts seemingly purpose-bought for the weapons.

The majority of the seized guns were factory-made, however, and changed to make them semi-automatic.

The investigation has opened a discussion about proactive police investigative powers, and the Minister of Justice intends to submit a regulation for police officers to carry stun guns. It will be a temporary pilot project and only some police officers will carry such weapons.

The suspects’ motives are still under investigation—and particularly their suspected support for far-right extremist organisations. Sources claim that Anders Behring Breivik was a role model for at least one of the suspects.

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