We were no fans of Anna Lindh, Sweden’s Foreign Minister, but it is sad to see that she died from wounds inflicted yesterday by a knife-wielding attacker. The earliest news reports said that the assailant had been captured, but that turned out not to be true. He escaped. The attack reportedly took place in a crowded department store, but apparently no one tackled the murderer even though he was unarmed (news reports say that he threw down his knife after the attack).
Swedish officials were quick to say that they “did not think the stabbing was politically motivated.” That seems odd; it’s unlikely that Lindh was attacked at random out of a crowd of shoppers. Presumably what they mean is that they think the killer was a lone nut as opposed to a member of a group of organized nuts. But it’s not clear how they can express this opinion since they have no idea who the assailant was. So far, I haven’t even seen a description of him.
The last major political assassination in Sweden was the murder of Prime Minister Olaf Palme in 1986 as he walked home from a movie with his family. That crime was never solved.
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