Police swooped on a Swedish student’s flat this week after mistaking balloons celebrating her 21st birthday party as propaganda for the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS), otherwise known simply as the Islamic State. (Read backwards, the rounded numerals resembled the initials “IS.”)
Sarah Ericsson and her boyfriend Fabian Akesson adorned windows with celebratory balloons for her birthday bash in the southern city Karlskrona. Akesson said police cars arrived Monday after a passer-by had reported a window display featuring ISIS propaganda, reports UPI.
“We understand why someone would report it if they thought it looked like IS-propaganda, although everyone else just thought it looked like the number ’12’ from outside,” Ericsson told Swedish media.
The couple removed the balloons, with the birthday girl saying that “extremism should always be taken seriously.”
“I laughed about it and they showed me a photo that they had taken where from their perspective, it did almost look like the letters IS,” Akesson said.
“I’m so surprised at all the attention,” Ericsson added. “I will never forget my 21st birthday.”