Sweden released Sunday a man previously suspected of planning terrorist attacks after a nationwide manhunt that culminated in his arrest Thursday. Mutar Muthanna Majid, an Iraqi national, was arrested just days after the deadly terrorist attacks in Paris on Nov. 13 that killed 130 people and left hundreds more injured.
The manhunt for Majid led Swedish officials to raise the threat level in the country to its second-highest rating on a five-scale spectrum. Law enforcement officials said they were tipped off to Majid’s suspected connection to the Islamic State group with concrete intelligence that he was planning an assault, the Wall Street Journal reported.
Western nations have been on high alert since last week's series of terror attacks throughout Paris, which involved several gunmen who drove from cafe to cafe and ultimately a packed concert hall in the French capital and opened fire with automatic rifles. Elsewhere, near the Stade de France -- where France’s national soccer team was playing Germany -- suicide bombers detonated explosives vests, increasing the death toll.
In the days after those attacks, there has been particular scrutiny on neighborhoods in Belgium and Paris where the attacks were suspected to have been planned. Brussels was on high alert Saturday, as authorities put the capital under the highest threat level possible and said a potential terror attack was imminent. Specifics regarding that potential attack were not released by Belgian authorities, though residents and visitors were encouraged not to congregate in groups. Reports indicated people in the city were heavily armed and had explosives.
The city’s Molenbeek neighborhood is the suspected location where the Paris attacks' leader, Abdelhamid Abaaoud, recruited individuals to be radicalized. Molenbeek is well-known for its high unemployment rates and large population of Muslims.