Swedes Arrest Suspect in Murder of Foreign Minister

Police arrested the suspected killer of Foreign Minister Anna Lindh (search) in a Stockholm suburb Tuesday night, officials said, after issuing a nationwide alert with a photo of the attacker.

The suspect was described as a Swedish man, but wasn't further identified. He was detained near a restaurant in Solna, a suburb of the capital, Stockholm (search), police spokeswoman Stina Wessling said.

Police spokesman Leif Jennekvist said that the suspect looks similar to the picture that was circulating and they were trying to determine if it's the same person.

The suspect will undergo DNA testing to see if his matches genetic material recovered from a baseball cap found near the scene. Police also recovered DNA from the knife used by the attacker, but the amount was too small for immediate use and was still undergoing processing.

Lindh was stabbed several times in the stomach, chest and arm in an upscale Stockholm department store last Wednesday and died the next day after several hours of surgery. The crime shocked the nation and cast a shadow over a weekend referendum on whether to adopt the euro.

Until Tuesday, police had made no arrests, a fact that has prompted comparisons to the unsolved slaying of Prime Minister Olof Palme (search) in 1986.

"It was not a dramatic arrest," Wessling said, adding that plain clothes officers arrested the unarmed Swede without incident.

Tips from the public help police identify and arrest the man, according to police.

Jennekvist said two other men were taken in for questioning, but were not considered suspects. He added that family members of the suspect were also questioned.

In addition to the arrested suspect, police are also pursuing others in the investigation.

"We have at least five people of high interest that we will check," he said.

Authorities filed a nationwide alert for the killer, including photos from the surveillance camera at the Nordiska Kompaniet department store showing a suspected attacker clad in a baseball cap and gray hooded Nike sweat shirt. Most Swedish papers published photos in Monday. Police also circulated photos to other countries.

Earlier, police said they had completed a profile of the murderer, but declined to release details. They also said the search was intensive and a warrant had been issued.

In Finland, investigators said they were examining surveillance footage from several ferries that make daily runs between Sweden and Finland, and border police were on the lookout for the suspect.

Danish police said they were on alert for the suspect, too.

Swedish news agency TT, citing a police source, said the suspect was 35 and had been convicted of illegally owning a knife, as well as theft and vandalism. The news agency said the man, whom it didn't identify, spent eight months in jail for aggravated fraud.

The news agency also reported that the man didn't have a permanent home and had been moving around Stockholm. Citing court records, TT said the man claimed to have problems with alcohol and cocaine abuse.

A memorial was scheduled for Friday. Leaders from Britain, Finland, Norway and Denmark said they would attend, along with U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell.

Authorities have said the attack did not appear to be politically motivated, though Lindh, who did not have bodyguards, was a prominent supporter of adopting the single European currency. Swedish voters overwhelmingly rejected the euro in Sunday's referendum.

Lindh's murder also overshadowed Tuesday's opening of parliament, where lawmakers, government officials and royalty headed into the modern chamber for the first session since the slaying.

The speaker of the Riksdag, Bjoern von Sydow, told lawmakers that Lindh's killing had sent an icy wind sweeping over Sweden.

"The cold from that wind still has us in its grip. But despite the dark that has happened, her memory should be bright," he said at the session, which was opened by King Carl XVI Gustaf.