recent, Security, World Affairs

Abandoning Malmö to Its Criminals

“I think they just shot someone right across from my balcony,” my friend told me. 

The gunshot rang out even as we were texting about another recent act of violence here in the Swedish city of Malmö—a car bomb that went off in a residential area close to my home.

Acts of violence occur so frequently in Malmö that news of one blurs into the next. This year, there already have been 29 explosions in a city of just 320,000. Sweden as a whole is on pace for about 150—or about three per week (as Quillette has reported previously). These are attacks by criminal gangs that usually target other criminals. But the victims are sometimes innocent bystanders. In one recent case, for instance, a female student was severely injured in the face when she happened to pass by a shop that exploded in Lund, a ten-minute car ride from Malmö. The more spectacular attacks have left whole cities such as Malmö fearful and traumatized, as a grandmother explained in a recent Facebook post about a bombing that blew out the windows of a residential building where her grandchildren were sleeping—”… two very frightened Swedish children, whose safe existence just fell apart.”

Writing for the newspaper Expressen that same day, Malmö-based journalist Fredrico Moreno likened his city’s bombing epidemic to a terror spree: “The bombs that wake us at night, that explode so that glass windows fly into bedrooms, have taken thousands of Malmö residents hostage…Friends tell me in passing how they have refurbished or switched rooms at home so that the children are not hurt when there are explosions nearby.” 

As Sweden’s national police chief put it last week, there is “no equivalent” to this bombing campaign in any other Western country. And the violence extends beyond bombings. On Saturday, gunmen killed a 15-year-old boy and critically wounded another at a pizzeria, minutes after yet another explosion in Malmö. Witnesses reported the sound of “an entire clip being emptied.” In August, the city was shaken to its core when Karolin Hakim, a young doctor whose boyfriend is a well-known figure from the city’s criminal underworld, was shot and killed in an affluent Malmö neighborhood. She was carrying her infant baby in her arms. The killer placed a bullet in her head when she was already lying on the street.

As with many Malmö residents, there is a personal dimension for me. In August, 2017, I was awakened at 2:30am by burglars attempting to enter my home. I was alone with my then 5-year old twin daughters when four men smashed the glass panes of the antique door on the ground floor. I carried my sleeping daughters upstairs, called the police and desperately looked around for a makeshift means of self-defense. The best I could manage was a hammer. Over the phone, a police officer urged me not to make my presence known to the intruders, whose silhouettes I could see on the frosted window as they poked around the area where I kept my daughters’ bicycles. Thankfully, my neighbor happened to come home late that night, inadvertently scaring off the burglars when he turned on the stairwell lights in our shared entryway. From my bedroom window, I got a good view of the four men as they ran down the street and disappeared.

Half an hour later, I gave a young and resigned-seeming police officer my account of the incident. When I asked him how best to protect my family in the future, he told me the best solution was “not living in Malmö: Things have escalated to a point where we can’t manage the situation.”

His answer shocked me, and I subsequently wrote an opinion piece for a Swedish national newspaper about it. The article was widely circulated and provoked much discussion. My local Malmö newspaper, by contrast, criticized the decision to publish my piece at all, questioned the validity of my account, and fretted that it might hurt the city’s image.

This ad for Staffanstorp, a municipality 20 minutes from Malmö, sparked intense debate in Sweden this week. It shows a family that moves from Malmö after being harassed by a street gang.

Though many of the bombings and homicides go unsolved, they are known to be the work of warring criminal gangs that are predominantly based in the country’s immigrant neighborhoods. In recent years, the attacks have shifted from underprivileged areas and into the more prosperous city center, where professionals inhabit 19th-century houses on picturesque cobblestone roads. Recently, someone detonated a bomb at a fancy sushi restaurant just a few blocks from my house. A few weeks before that, the patisserie and café across the road was blown up. Before that, it was the nightclub down the road. It’s a small city, and there are few residents who haven’t been affected by the violence in some way.

We’ve been woken by bombings four times this year. When the sushi restaurant exploded, the blast was so powerful it made the windows in our bedroom rattle and a number of car alarms go off in the distance as the shockwave hit them. The explosion happened three blocks away, but the sound had become so familiar that I went back to sleep without even getting out of bed to check on my twins.

For years, the Swedish media and political establishment have done their best to play down the trend, dismissing concerns such as my own as alarmist overreactions. Malmö has been hailed as a multicultural success, despite growing evidence to the contrary. “This is a serious situation, but most people shouldn’t be worried, because they are not going to be affected,” the head of intelligence at Sweden’s National Operations Department assured everyone earlier this week. We are also made to understand that the perpetrators are, as one police official put it, “from socio-economically weak groups, socio-economically weak areas, and many are perhaps second- or third-generation immigrants.” A Social Democratic MP from Malmö, Hillevi Larsson, infamously claimed during a parliamentary debate in 2017 that she goes on her bike everywhere in Malmö, and that there is thus no reason to be afraid. Shootings are mainly about ”gangsters shooting at each other,” she argued.

But if a government doesn’t protect its population, then ordinary people will find a way to address the problem themselves—sometimes by simply leaving. Indeed, underpopulated Swedish municipalities with low crime rates now are actively recruiting well-off families from Malmö and other dangerous areas. The idea of “gated communities” is still a taboo in this country. But there is always the option of simply leaving a city like Malmö for a place with less crime.   

That police officer who came to my home in 2017 was all too correct—which is why my wife and I recently made our own plans to leave the city with our family. Maybe one day we’ll return, but not until Swedish politicians show more concern for fighting crime than fending off criticism.  


Henrik Jönsson is an entrepreneur and business manager in Malmö, Sweden and a vlogger for the Swedish center-right daily Svenska Dagbladet. Follow him on Twitter @jonsson_henrik

Feature photo: Police forensic officers inspect a burnedßout car near the scene where a woman was shot dead in the Ribersborg district of Malmo, Sweden on August 26, 2019. Photo by Johan NILSSON /AFP via Getty Images.


  1. Beautiful. The whole nation is in danger because of predominantly Muslim immigration, but you are still politically correct: “criminal gangs that are predominantly based in the country’s immigrant neighborhoods”. Don’t you think, that you get, what you deserve?

  2. But there is always the option of simply leaving a city like Malmö for a place with less crime.

    And where will you go when the crime follows you all around Sweden?

    Emigrate to the US? Foreign-born criminal gangs are chasing us around, too.

    But if a government doesn’t protect its population …

    The Swedish population is the government. The Swedish population if responsible for the government’s inadequacies. The government’s inadequacies are your own.

    You have not, in your article, Mr. Jonsson, presented a concrete suggestion for how the people of Sweden (and let’s no longer pretend that the Swedish government is something separate from the Swedish people) … how the people of Sweden can remove these criminal gangs from Sweden.

    Perhaps you are fearful of being punished by your fellow Swedes for making suggestions. In that case, you have come to the right place. There are many people here who are willing - and not too afraid - to tell you what the people of Sweden can do to rid Sweden of these criminal gangs.

    Check in from time to time to see.

  3. As a citizen in one of Sweden’s neighbouring countries, I follow Swedish news every day. One concern which seems to be pretty special for Sweden is what is called “Sverigebilden,” a term that can be translated as the “Image of Sweden.” Citizens of all nations seem to care (I don’t know why) about how they are viewed by others. But this, in Sweden, is an obsession. Both the Swedish establishment and the population at large seem conspicuously obsessed with how Sweden (or individual towns, as in this article) might be viewed from the outside. Upholding an imagined favourable self-image often comes across as more important than taking a realistic look at problems in society and acting upon them. This juvenile narcissism is thus not just laughable, but also self-desctructive, in that ignoring or explaining away the actual problems only serves to worsen them. In fact, this obsession with image - this narcissism, strangely combined with a noticeable inferiority complex - can be said to lie behind much of Sweden’s self-destructive path in the past 50 years to become a “humanistic super power.”

  4. Applause!

    When I read the interview with the father of a drowned Syrian boy, I did not cry with compassion because the question arose in my mind:
    How did it happen that your son drowned, and here you are, talking about the culprits of this tragedy?
    You are the culprit! You took your child on a dangerous journey and could not save him. You are a man, you are created for salvation and protection, and you dare to complain and blame others.

  5. Yes, but at least we get to shoot back. The Europeans are not thinning the herd.

  6. When seconds count… police are minutes away.

  7. If Stockholm syndrome is a condition which causes hostages to develop a psychological alliance with their captors during captivity, does Malmo syndrome mean a population develops a psychological cuckholding to an aggressive and hostile immigrant population?

  8. My suggestion is that instead of dreaming new pronouns to use and deifying 16 year old green prophets, start visiting viking museums and learn to be proud of your heritage.

  9. Source here.

    I recall about 20 years ago the “branding guru” Simon Anholt become influential with “nation branding” - in NE Asia it became so oppressive with these branding initiative taken to provincial, city, town, and village level. What appeared on the surface to be the typical “Visit X” tourism marketing (place branding) went much deeper as the target of these branding efforts was the residents of these areas (people branding). We need to adopt x, y, and z values, which often included social justicey ones, to become appealing to outsiders so we can be successful.

    According to Anholt, the creation of a strong Competitive Identity and Nation Brand is mainly accomplished through six areas (when he calls the hexagon) of national assets, characteristics and competence.

    1. Governance and Policy - Here, respondents are asked to rank countries according to how competently and fairly they are governed, how much they respect the human rights of their own citizens, how far they trust them to make responsible decisions which uphold international peace and security, what their international contribution is to the environment and poverty reduction and policy decisions a country’s government makes both foreign as well as domestic policy.
    1. Investment and Immigration - This point of the hexagon looks at the ‘business-to-business’ aspect of the nation brand, asking respondents about their personal willingness to live and work in each country for a substantial period, and their views on which country would be the most suitable location for setting up an overseas branch of their company. Inward investments, which mean the recruitment of foreign talents and students and the expansion of foreign companies into the own country do also belong to this sector.

    If a country’s government is able to “coordinate the actions, investments, policies and communications of all six points of the hexagon so that they prove and reinforce this idea”, then there is a good chance to accomplish “a competitive national identity . . . . to the lasting benefit of exporters, importers, government, the culture sector, tourism, immigration, and pretty much every aspect of international relations" . . . . “and all the bodies, agencies, and organisations at each point of the hexagon have to work together, meet together, and align their behaviour to a common national strategy. Achieve a balanced hexagon and you’ll become “a good country”.

    Influential? Fifty-five countries have bought off on this.

    Some may scoff and say it’s standard PR. OK. What’s PR? It’s a form of spin that divorces communication from conviction. PR is itself a censor, one at the source of the information, endeavouring to conceal, mislead, dilute, and deform, and usually does so stealthly. It seeks to mediate the media, and in the 20-odd years since media abandoned objectivity from its code of ethics, PR and media often march in lockstep.

    When social media emerged, what was its raison d’être? You too could be your own brand. You’d have a mission statement, your core values, what you embrace and celebrate, etc. In hindsight, these branding endeavours seem to be designed to inculcate individuals and groups to adopt certain “desirable” attributes as deemed by the experts. “Use this template.”

    What do we see time and time again? Defend the brand. Time and effort were taken to craft this facade, this ruse, and anyone who may tarnish it must be removed or disassociated to silence him/her.

    If you want to know more about it, here’s one of Anholt’s books, Brand New Justice, in its entirety,

    A way to subvert Sweden is to damage its cherished branding - poison the well by creating negative associations with the country.

  10. Tweak this article a bit. Instead of a Swede make the author an American and voila he becomes a white nationalist racist. If the article calls for building a wall (metaphorically speaking), he is worthy of being cursed, spit upon and deplatformed.

    There are many good reasons for bringing in immigrants. However allowing immigrants to enter without requiring assimilation or insisting upon obedience to the law is cultural suicide and governmental malpractice. I don’t understand why the author fails to mention changing the politicians.

  11. I think most here understand the problems Mr. Jonsson has to deal with. Let me help get the ball rolling by discussing what he can do about them.

    We can surmise that there are two basic questions that Mr. Jonsson would like our help with:

    (1) What should Sweden do with the immigrant criminals infesting Malmo and the rest of the country, and

    (2) What is standing in the way?

    Re: Question (1): Put simply, the Swedes should make the immigrant criminals leave Sweden, and the Swedes need not be too fussy about where they go and what happens to them when they get there. Ideally, this should be done with a minimum of waste of time and public resources.

    As one example; any immigrant who is known or believed to be a member of a criminal gang should be deported. No need to prove they actually committed a crime. The fact of being a gang member should be enough. A quick hearing in front of a magistrate - not a judge - and then away they go - with no right of appeal.

    This is important. Appeals are nothing more than a stalling tactic, and their sole purpose is to exhaust the deportation system.

    Re: Question (2): What is standing in the way? The law as it currently stands. Swedes need to change the law so that immigrant criminals no longer have the legal privileges that they currently enjoy. This is how they can be deported for merely belonging to a criminal gang (or being suspected of membership), and it is also how they can be denied a right of appeal once a magistrate signs the papers authorizing their deportation.

    We can also discuss who is standing in the way of this. Certain legislators, for a start. Also certain professional administrators currently working with immigration issues, certain judges who are currently working with immigration issues and, of course, the Swedish citizens who voted these people into power.

    These certain individuals, by their behavior over the years, can be assumed to be privately committed to a world without borders, a world without nations, a world without a country called Sweden. They are standing in the way of people like Mr. Jonsson, who quite reasonably want to make immigrant criminals leave Sweden.

    And these certain individuals need to be removed from power first. Not reasoned with. Removed.

  12. Absolutely not. It takes refugees abandoning the culture that lead to their home countries being terrible places, and adopting the culture of the country they wish to live in.

  13. Congrats there mum. I’ll not ask for either gender or species since your kid probably hasn’t made a selection yet, but congrats all the same.

    The worst thing about immigration is not the arrivals, but as you say, the difficulty in getting rid of the misfits. Any immigrant or refugee should be deported at the sole discretion of the minister at the first sign of trouble. In Canada it can take 15 years to deport a bad apple and that’s presuming he chooses to leave. I think of Mr. Abu Hamza in the UK. It should be as easy as this:

    Dear Mr. Abu-Jihad:

    HM government has noticed that you seem unhappy with the values of a western liberal democracy. Specifically we have noted your activism in the cause of global Islam and your agitating for sharia law in the UK.

    Your residency permit is hereby revoked, and your refugee application denied. Please leave the UK within 90 days for the Islamic paradise of your choice. If you are still here after that time, HM government will pick one for you.

    Thank you for your interest in the UK,



  14. But one size does not fit all. In the case you mentioned the evidence is quite clear that genetics has almost nothing to do with it, and it is the backwardness of Pakistani culture that is the problem. However there are other situations where it is quite clear that differences in IQ between various groups cannot be ignored. About 86% of American negroes (self identified) are of below average intelligence, and in Africa the figure rises into the high 90’s. In the case of the Chinese we see both factors – a higher IQ but also a culture that values discipline, learning and success.

    The SJWs will never admit this, but the rotten fact is that whitey is not quite the oppressor he is made out to be, and that although of course various biases exist, as we see in the case of British Hindus, if one really wants to succeed and to be accepted, one will be.

    Most stereotypes are in fact true, and what will erode bias is just an accumulating record of good behavior. As for hurt feelings beeing a valid excuse for criminality and general failure, one might note that the Jews have been having their feelings hurt for a very long time and they don’t give a damn. Short of killing them, you always find them at the top of the pile, persecution and bias and hurt feelings notwithstanding.

  15. Wonderful woman. Did you know she renounced Islam before she came to the US seeking refuge from Muslim assassins?

    She also exposes her hair in public.

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