Four Arrested for Intended Domestic Terrorism

iceland terrorism

Four Icelandic men were arrested yesterday, September 21, for terroristic plots against state institutions and civilians.

In the press conference which took place at 3pm today, the police have stated it is safe to assume either parliament or the police themselves may have been targets. The police have so far not been forthcoming with details of the arrests.

Stundin reports that the suspects are men in their twenties and were found to have hoarded a number of weapons, including dozens of semiautomatic guns and large amounts of ammunition. Nine houses are reported to have been searched. Semiautomatic weapons are considered especially deadly, as they can hold high-capacity magazines.

According to Stundin, the suspects may be connected to other international organizations under investigation by the police.

At the press conference, Chief Police Inspector Karl Steinar Valsson stated, “It’s safe to say that our society is safer than it was before.” He continued: “This is the first investigation of its kind to be launched in Iceland. Of course, we don’t want to reveal what the exact police response was. But at the height of the operation, 50 police personnel took part.”

The case is still developing, but as Stundin notes, acts of terrorism can carry a maximum sentence of  life imprisonment in Iceland. In addition to violent terroristic acts, financing terrorism can carry a maximum sentence of 10 years, and inciting terroristic acts can carry a maximum sentence of 6 years.

The men are also suspected of having 3D-printed components of the firearms in question.

This is a developing story and details are subject to change. Iceland Review will update coverage of the story as it develops.

 

 

 

 

Postal Service to Close Post Offices in Grindavík, Skagaströnd, and Kópasker

post office iceland

In a recent press release from the postal service, post offices in Grindavík, Skagaströnd, and Kópasker are all set to close by January 2023.

The postal service notes that there will be no layoffs, and that they will instead place emphasis on other services.

Read more: Proposed Changes Could Mean No At-Home Mail Delivery

In the press release, it is noted that mail delivery has seen a 74% decrease since 2010, while parcel delivery has simultaneously risen significantly. The reorganization of postal services in these rural areas is supposed to still provide service, while cutting the costs of maintaining staffed post offices.

Letters can still be posted by placing them in public postboxes, and stamps will be available for purchase through local retailers and also online. There are currently 52 postboxes throughout Iceland, which can be used to both send and receive mail. More locations are forthcoming. Postboxes will be open 24/7.

It will also be possible to send parcels through public postboxes and the post truck as well. Parcels will be delivered daily on working days in urban areas and bi-weekly in rural areas.

Despite guarantees that rural communities will still be serviced under the new plan, some local councils oppose the changes.

Three Pieces of Short Fiction

icelandic literature elísabet jökulsdóttir

The Little Girl Who Lived on Fish Hearts

I once knew a little girl who lived on nothing but fish hearts. She had a bowl of goldfish and spent every day at home alone with her fish. Her dad and mom were always buying her more new fish because whenever they came home from work at night, she told them that this fish had died today, and those three yesterday. When they asked the girl what she’d done with the dead fish, she said she’d buried them or thrown them in the trash. So they were always buying her new fish because she was home by herself so much. But one time, when her mom was replanting all the flowers, she found a fish corpse in every last pot. After a rigorous interrogation, it came to light that the girl had killed the fish by cutting out their hearts and eating one heart a day. But when they asked her why on earth she’d do that, she didn’t know why on earth she had eaten fish hearts. And so they put her in a children’s psychiatric ward because she didn’t have a reason.

The Aliens and the Child

Once upon a time, some aliens flew to earth from an unknown star and stole a child who’d run away from home because her parents didn’t notice her. When, many lightyears later, the child was returned to earth, she was not a day older than when she’d vanished, but her parents were old and wizened by the fireplace. And when they saw the child lollygagging in the living room, they asked each other who that child was and concluded it was probably one of the bloody grandchildren. 

icelandic author elísabet jökulsdóttir

The Cigarette Girl: A story for Linda Vilhjálmsdóttir

This is a story about a cigarette girl. Whenever she got an arrow to the eye, a bullet to the heart, or a spear to the side, she pulled a crumpled pack of cigarettes from her back pocket, carefully shook one out, and lit it. Then she stood on the corner with a cigarette dangling from her lips, an arrow in her eye, a bullet in her heart, and a spear in her side, and smoked with a dreadfully cunning expression on her face. In the end, her face got stuck like that because she was always smoking.

icelandic literature elísabet jökulsdóttir

Possible Changes to Car Rentals, Including Limits on Mileage and Age

winter tires reykjavík

Minister of Culture and Trade Lilja Dögg Alfreðsdóttir stated in an interview yesterday with RÚV that changes may be coming for the rental car industry in Iceland.

The statement came in response to the Ministry of Tourism’s efforts to improve education for foreign drivers on Icelandic roads following the tragic 2018 accident by Núpsvötn, in which three British citizens died.

Iceland’s unique landscape is of course a major driver of the tourism industry, but many foreign tourists may not be prepared for the road conditions in Iceland.

Read more: Núpsvötn Car Accident Among Worst in Icelandic History

The car in involved in the Núpsvötn accident had been driven some 340,00km and was 12 years old. Now, politicians and members of the tourism industry are reconsidering what regulations should apply to rental cars to prevent future accidents.

“We will refer this to a working group within the ministry that has been working to promote increased security for tourists in this country. We will use this terrible incident to improve regulations and possible legislation to ensure further safety in this country,” Lilja stated to RÚV.

Hendrik Berndsen, chairman of Hertz in Iceland and chairman of the Tourism Association’s Car Rental Committee, also expressed the need for better regulation in the rental car industry.

The Tourism Association is responsible for 90% of Iceland’s 24,000 rental cars.

Speaking to RÚV, he called for a limit of 200,000km for rental cars, and a possible limit of 6-8 years.

“It may not be possible to directly blame the car,” he said,  “but is very important that there are the latest cars for drivers who come to the country.”

Playing Ball

basketball iceland

“Let’s try to keep the interview as short as possible.” A stressed-out looking man has set a tight timeframe for this interview and hurriedly gestures to Tryggvi Snær Hlinason to have a seat. He’s not a particularly short man, but in this crowd, we all look tiny.Iceland’s national basketball team has just finished warming up […]

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Polish Deputy Minister: Support Language Learning in Both Nations

Szymon Szynkowski vel Sęk

While on an official visit to Iceland, Polish deputy minister Szymon Szynkowski vel Sek voiced his approval for mutual language learning in both nations.

According to the deputy minister, Polish children should be able to learn their mother tongue in Iceland, but Icelandic should also be offered at a university level in Poland.

Read more: Polish Classes Offered to School Staff in Reykjanes

Poles constitute a large portion of the immigrant population in Iceland. According to Statistics Iceland, some 20,500 Poles claimed residency in Iceland in 2021, comprising nearly 40% of the immigrant population and over 5% of the total population.

As such, Poland and Iceland have a very important relationship. There are, however, fears that not all Polish immigrants have had the opportunity to properly integrate into Icelandic society. Increased language education in both countries could be a way to better integrate Polish immigrants into Icelandic society.

Read more: Fifty-Six Percent of Polish Immigrants Experienced Discrimination

In a public address, the deputy minister stated that Icelandic was already offered at Jagiellonian University in Kraków, and that there were plans to extend Icelandic education to the University of Gdańsk. “It’s one of the things we’ve done to show that we take our relationship with Iceland very seriously,” he stated.

Mr. Szynkowski vel Sek also noted the need for more Polish-Icelandic translators, saying that as the connection between the two nations has become so significant, it is important to have specialists with good command of both languages.