It’s been a week since independent journalist Tim Pool took up InfoWars editor-at-large and alt-right conspiracy theorist Paul Joseph Watson’s offer of money for a trip to Malmo, Sweden, to investigate violence allegedly committed by migrants and refugees in the country.
So far, Pool has posted a clip for each day he’s been in the country. Topics have ranged from a sit-down with a business owner, chatting with Ivar Arpi about self-censorship, and one Muslim resident’s perspective on the situation.
There’s also video of Pool exploring the supposed most violent “no-go zones,” escorted by Deputy Mayor Nils Karlsson.
The videos paint a complicated picture. Residents express concern to Pool about crime and violence, but it’s not the war zone Watson and others have portrayed it to be.
Speaking to a resident in the Rosengard neighborhood, Pool notes that it seems to be an issue of perceptionthat crime is indeed rising but perhaps the increase is not as steep as it may seem to those not used to violence. It’s something he echoed in an interview with Swedish news agency TT, saying, “if this is the worst Malm has to offer, then don’t ever come to Chicago.”
An interview with journalist Chang Frick yields an honest, open discussion. At one point, Frick says he doesn’t believe a rise in violent crime in Sweden has anything to do with the country bringing in refugees in the last two years. He also casually talks about seeing almost daily car fires.
Pool, who’s done a wealth of on-the-ground reporting and live-streaming, including from the Ferguson, Missouri riots in 2014, received $2,000 from Watson to support his efforts. Via GoFundMe, Pool has generated more than $15,000 of a $20,000 goal to fund his work in Sweden.
Watson’s donation to Pool came about after President Donald Trump’s random reference to violence in Sweden during a recent rally. Watson claimed such violence in the Swedish city of Malmo was real and offered a donation to any journalist willing to make the trip and investigate the allegations.
When I asked Pool via email if he’s had contact with Watson, he said, “There has been light contact, I informed him that the extreme left and right are both incorrect about the situation in Sweden.”
The journey hasn’t been without anxiety for Pool. On Wednesday, Pool posted some videos to Twitter from Rinkeby, the suburb of Stockholm that was the scene of a riot a week ago, saying that police were getting nervous and encouraging Pool’s crew to leave the area.
In a statement, Pool further described what happened. Here’s an excerpt:
I asked an officer if we were to ask people to do interviews would that be a problem and he said it would provoke them. The police started getting scared and very calmly and quietly said it would be smart if “you were to leave right now.”
He told me to look around at what the people were doing, I said “should we just walk to our car now then?” He said “that would be smart, that is my tip for you”
They said it would be smart if they followed us out. He said “if we make an arrest right now there could be 50 people here in minutes with stones” As we were walking out people started following us. The police escorted us to our car and we left.
Pool concluded, “I honestly thought we could visit the neighborhood and talk to locals without a problem.”
Additionally, one person was reportedly injured by shrapnel when a grenade went off in the Lindngen neighborhood of Malmo.
Pool says there’s a loose plan for the project after he’s done filming in Sweden. “Germany, Belgium, and France are next,” he says, adding, “Germany is likely our very next stop.”
UPDATED: Clarified a statement made in one of the videos by Chang Frick.