Danish police have arrested a suspect in the brutal stabbing of a Swedish Jewish community leader in the city of Helsingborg on Tuesday. The assault, which is feared to have been motivated by anti-Semitism, has left the victim in critical condition.
A Danish police spokesperson confirmed that authorities arrested the suspect in the early hours of Wednesday. The man will be brought back to Sweden to stand trial for attempted murder.
The victim is the wife of the leader of Helsingborg’s Jewish community. Her identity has not been released. Said to be in her 60s, the woman was reportedly stabbed nine times on a street in the coastal city of Helsingborg. She was taken to the hospital in a conscious state but with serious injuries.
A manhunt was launched after the perpetrator fled the scene.
Israel’s Foreign Ministry, citing sources in the local Jewish community, said it was confident that anti-Semitic motives were behind the attack. The assailant is a Muslim man known to authorities, the ministry added. The man’s identity has yet to be made public by Swedish police.
“Once again, Jews in Europe are in danger,” President Reuven Rivlin said in a statement condemning the stabbing. “We will fight anti-Semitism with all our might, and will speak out against these dreadful incidents. Our thoughts and prayers are with the injured, her family and community,” he vowed.
Jewish leaders expressed concern that the attack was further evidence for sickening and rising levels of anti-Semitism in Europe.
In a statement on Tuesday, the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations urged Swedish authorities to “take all necessary and proper measures to ensure the safety of Sweden’s Jewish population and to bring the perpetrator of this violent crime to justice.”
In the wake of the attack, Swedish police were standing guard outside the Jewish community centers in Helsingborg.
[Photo: LawPrieR / Flickr]