Sweden has been classified a ”high risk country” by U.S. security, and former Swedish Consul General in New York, Olle Wästberg, agrees. Right now, Sweden is preparing for President Barack Obama’s visit - Obama to Sweden - by ramping up security. About 500 people are expected to arrive in Stockholm in connection with the visit, which will take place September 4-5. Swedish police has the primary responsibility with around 2,000 police who will be on duty during both days. But American Secret Service also participates, and they are already in Stockholm.
Though Sweden may be perceived as a safe country for international visitors, Wästberg makes a different assessment in an interview with the magazine Focus. The reason is the murder of the politicians Olof Palme and Anna Lindh, and also the suicide bombing on December 11 in 2010. Statistics show that Sweden has suffered more political murders than the U.S. As an example of the American position, Wästberg mentions the high-level of security that met former Swedish Prime Minister Göran Persson during an official visit to New York, after the murder of Anna Lindh.

Two political murders, one unsolved
”Once we had dropped off Persson at the hotel, I asked if they treated all visiting Prime Ministers this way. No, only ’high risk’ the chief of Secret Service replied and read in their paper: ’Two political murders, one unsolved’,” says Wästberg to Focus. And Hans Abrahamsson, Associate Professor in Peace and Development research at Göteborg University, is of the same mindset. According to him, there are differences in security between the former presidential visit to Sweden by George Bush, and the upcoming visit of Obama, and there’s a marked increase in security with the latter. According to Abrahamsson, the U.S. would never even think about putting their Commander’s life in the hands of some ”local sheriff”. Besides, the U.S. has doubts when it comes to Sweden and Sweden’s openness, and a feeling of awkwardness, which has existed since Olof Palme openly criticized America in the early seventies, according to the article in Focus.