Swedish police have arrested two men in connection with an explosion that rocked a Jewish community building in Malmo.
The explosion took place early Friday morning, according to Fred Kahn, chairman of the board of Jewish community of Malmo.
“There was an explosion and someone also threw a rock at the windows at the entrance to the community house,” he said.
The two suspects are 18 years old and have no prior criminal record, according to the daily Skånska Dagbladet.
“Witness reports led us to arrest the two suspects near, but not immediately at the scene,” Anders Lindell, a Malmo police officer and spokesperson, told JTA
The suspects are denying any involvement in the explosion and an attorney will be appointed to represent them, he added.
“The forensics report from the scene of the crime is finished but needs to be reviewed,” he said.
Kahn told JTA, “We are shocked by this incident, which was definitely a deliberate attack. The community has upped its security arrangements, but we are continuing as usual. The Jewish kindergarten is going to stay open and all services will continue.”
Covering additional security costs will come at the expense of social and cultural activities, Kahn told the Swedish daily. In 2010, an explosion outside Malmo’s only Orthodox synagogue shattered the buildings windows. Malmo Jews say they are routinely harassed in the city of 300,000 residents, which has a large immigrant community from the Middle East.
Ilmar Reepalu, the mayor of Malmo, told the Swedish daily of the attack, “It is disgusting and terrible when things like this happen,” he said. Hannah Rosenthal, the Obama administration’s outgoing special envoy for combating anti-Semitism, has accused Reepalu in the past of making “anti-Semitic statements.”
Reepalu has advised Jews who want to be safe in Malmo to reject Zionism. He also has said that the Jewish community had been “infiltrated” by anti-Muslim agents and has denied that Muslims perpetrated the attacks on Malmo Jews.
On Sunday, dozens of Jews from Denmark visited Malmo to express their solidarity with the city’s Jewish community.