In a world that is bemused by what is happening to it, the advent of fake news is only adding to the confusion.  And Malmö is not immune, thanks to the new incumbent of the White House.  President Trump announced to members of the military in Florida: “Radical Islamic terrorists are determined to strike our homeland, as they did on 9/11, as they did from Boston to Orlando to San Bernardino.  And all across Europe, you’ve seen what happened in Paris and Nice.  All over Europe it’s happening.  And it’s gotten to the point that it’s not even being reported and in many cases the very, very dishonest press doesn’t want to report it.”  To back up his swipe at the Western media, which he feels are avoiding coverage of terrorist attacks, the administration have produced a list of 78 “terror attacks” that they felt were inadequately reported.

To the surprise of many, this included the killings at the Charlie Hebdo office and Bataclan concert venue in Paris, the Nice truck outrage and the Christmas Market attack in Berlin.  Even more surprising was that a Malmö incident found its way onto the list.  In October last year there was an arson attack on a community centre used by an Iraqi cultural association.  From a reporting point of view, the incident was covered by the excellent The Local on several occasions.

Though a magazine linked to Isis did claim the fire was orchestrated by extremists, terror experts pointed out that Isis has the habit of taking responsibility for events which have nothing to do with them.  In this case, a small fire in which no one was injured.  According to the district court that handled the case, the level of suspicion required to be considered a terror crime had not been met.  The man responsible was accused of arson.

The Local spoke to terrorism expert, Magnus Ranstorp, a researcher at Sweden’s National Defence University.  He said: “The easiest way to describe this is classic fake news from Trump’s White House.  This is nothing to do with the truth; it’s an influencing operation.  Propaganda targeted at the American population.”

Across the Öresund Bridge, Copenhagen found itself on the list three times.  But as the list seems to have been compiled swiftly, ‘Denmark’ was misspelled ‘Denmakr’.  Even ‘San Bernardino’ was spelt ‘San Bernadino’.  At least most of the fake news we’re subjected to is spelt correctly even if it steers us in the wrong direction and makes us draw the wrong conclusions.