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What challenges does Sweden face after a rise in immigration?



STOCKHOLM, Sweden (Sinclair Broadcast Group) - In February 2017 at a rally in Melbourne, Fla., President Donald Trump singled out Sweden a a place with problems.

"You look at what’s happening in Germany, you look at what’s happening last night in Sweden. Sweden, who would believe this?" he asked.

The president later clarified his comments, pointing to a report he had seen about some of the issues facing the country of 10 million people after an influx of asylum applications into the country.

The problems Trump referenced originated in Syria and Iraq with the war against ISIS.

Extremists were the primary target, but millions were caught in the middle and forced to flee their country.

<b>According to the UN refugee agency</b>, more than 5 million people sought refuge outside Syria.

Many spread across Europe.

Three-thousand miles away - more than a quarter million over a two-year period applied for asylum in Sweden.

The past few years also saw an uptick in violence, <b>according to statistics provided by the Swedish government</b>.

Murders, assaults, and rapes increased.

In Malmö, police were actively investigating<b> four reported gang rapes since November 2017</b>.

Glen Sjögren, who has patrolled the streets of Malmö for 41 years said he's seen things change dramatically, particularly among the youth.

"Drugs, weapons, gangs... that's the main problem," he said.

While the Swedish government provides<b> housing, healthcare, schooling, and welfare</b> to people, some argue that's not enough, because immigrants are finding it difficult to assimilate to the Swedish culture.

"We have to integrate them into our society in a better way than we do right now," Sjögren explained.

He feels that Sweden's laws aren't up to date to handle the influx of people who came into the country.

Niklas Orrenius, a journalist who has written five books - one of which focuses on Islamic extremism - says he doesn't believe in the narrative that the refugees fleeing Syria and other countries are contributing to the rise in violence.

"I wouldn't say that most of them bring the same conflict with them because most of them just want to be living in peace with their families, that's why they came," he said.

"I just know some of them are still harboring extremist views."

Orrenius said radical Islamists are a real problem in his country, as some see it as a place to hide in plain sight.

"Sweden has had <b>300 young men and women go to Iraq and Syria to join terrorist organizations</b>, that is a very high number."

Journalists here, he said, didn't keep up.

"For many years my colleagues, journalists didn't do their job, and also politicians. They didn't really see that this was a really big problem in Sweden. With terrorist supporters and some mosques being breeding grounds for them."

But some Swedes who spoke to In Your World said the increase of refugees and crime simultaneously is not a problem - but instead a story that is getting blown out of proportion by the media, and Trump.

Here's a look at some of the violence that took place while we were in Stockholm:

  • Just before arriving, a man was killed after picking up an explosive device left outside a train station on a Sunday afternoon in Stockholm.
  • Hours after visiting a suburb, Rinkeby, a young man died after he was shot in the head at a pizza shop Monday evening.
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