Say What?!: Police Confuse ’21’ Birthday Balloons for Islamic State Initials

KARLSKRONA, Sweden – A Swedish student had a memorable 21st birthday after police mistook balloons shaped like a “21” for the initials of extremist group Islamic State.

Sarah Ericsson said she and her boyfriend, Fabian Akesson, had thrown a party during the weekend for her 21st birthday and there were balloons shaped like the number “21” in her window, which she said read backwards from outside the window.

Akesson said he was at Ericsson’s Karlskrona home Monday morning, two days after the party, when several police cars pulled up to the house and officers said a witness had reported Islamic State propaganda being displayed in the window.

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