06:17 GMT13 May 2021
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    The far-right vigilantes Soldiers of Odin have been reported to have helped the police prevent a robbery in the Old Town of Stockholm.

    Refugees sleep outside the entrance of the Swedish Migration Agency's arrival center for asylum seekers
    Mikael Johansson, who initiated the Soldiers of Odin patrols in Sweden and currently is the group's spokesman, told the web newspaper Fria Tider that the incident occurred sometime after half past 2PM on Friday. According to him, the culprit was trying to rob his victim of his golden necklace. This is when the civic guards stepped in, stopped the robber and held him under surveillance until the police arrived, even though their "shift" was over by that time.

    "They made a citizens' arrest," police spokesman Mats Eriksson confirmed. The suspect, who is a man in his 40s, was taken to the police station for identification and interrogation on the attempted robbery. Later, he was released.

    Last month, the black-clad Soldiers of Odin, who originally hail from Finland but later expanded into the neighboring countries as well, were reported to have made their first entrance in Sweden, initiating civil patrols in a number of towns, including the capital city of Stockholm. Although the "soldiers" themselves claim the patrols to be necessary to protect Swedish citizens, particularly women, from violent attacks and sexual assaults carried out by immigrants, the nightly rounds evoked mixed feelings, with the mainstream media as well as some of the top ranking politicians branding the militia as "racists" and condemning the patrols as potentially harmful.

    Last weekend, the public turmoil around the controversial street patrols culminated in two major brawls, which ensued between the Soldiers of Odin activists and violent leftists in Gothenburg and Uppsala respectively.

    However, reporter Joakim Lamotte of Göteborgs-Posten, who did his own investigation on the Soldiers of Odin, argues that the public reception of the patrols is nonetheless unexpectedly warm. He also predicted an upsurge in various militia groups overtaking the public security.

    "Many people I talked to, especially girls, actually thought that they [the Soldiers of Odin] were doing a good job. Girls are terrified to go out in the evenings. Soldiers of Odin may not be just the right people to provide security, but some still think it is better to have someone at least do something."

    The Soldiers of Odin themselves deny the public accusations of Nazism and racism, claiming to defend all people regardless of their origin, background or religion.

    Major Migrant Crisis in Europe (1819)


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