Last week, the police arrested four Icelandic men suspected of planning a domestic-terrorism attack. During a press conference today, the police stated that numerous weapons, including semi-automatic firearms and 3D-printed components, had been seized during the investigation. Two of the suspects remain in custody and are being held in isolation.
The “first investigation of its kind”
Four Icelandic men were arrested last Wednesday, September 21, suspected of “terrorist plots” against state institutions and civilians. Two of the suspects were immediately released; the other two have remained in custody.
According to the police, the suspects had hoarded numerous weapons – including dozens of semi-automatic guns and 3D-printed components – alongside a considerable amount of ammunition. The men, all of whom are in their twenties, had discussed carrying out an attack during the police’s annual celebration (to be held on Saturday, October 1).
Chief Police Inspector Karl Steinar Valsson told reporters last week that this was the “first investigation of its kind to be launched in Iceland.”
A long-awaited press conference
At 3 PM today, the police authorities held another press conference to update the public on the state of the investigation.
Taking their places behind their respective podia, Grímur Grímsson, Chief of the Capital Area Police, and Sveinn Ingiberg Magnússon, Chief of Police for the District Attorney’s Office, began by revealing that the National Police Commissioner, Sigríður Björk Guðjónsdóttir, had recused herself from the investigation as an individual connected to her had been named in the investigation.
According to Grímur, the police have executed 17 search warrants and seized numerous firearms, some of which had been assembled with 3D-printed components and others that had been modified to function as automatic weapons. The authorities have also seized magazines, bullets, silencers, and knives. Nevertheless, Grímur observed, the threat of a terrorist attack in Iceland “remains low“ and the police have seen no reason to raise the alert level: “There’s no reason to believe that we, as a society, are not safe,” Grímur remarked.
Grímur also noted that the investigation was complicated and time consuming: “We have eight different units working on the investigation. We’re investigating the 3D printer, various electronic data, weapons, and tips from the public. We’ve also sent quite a bit of data to police authorities in the Nordic countries and to Europol so that they may assist in our processing of the evidence.”
The suspects are being held in isolation
After the press conference, Grímur and Sveinn fielded a few questions, most of which were deflected on the grounds that the police could “not comment during this stage of the investigation.” It was revealed, however, that the two suspects are being held in isolation and that the police had arrested them less than 24 hours after suspicions of a domestic terrorism attack had emerged.
Grímur and Sveinn concluded the press conference by encouraging the public to report any suspicion of 3D-printed firearms or ammunition to the police.
This article was updated at 10.50 AM on Friday, September 30.