Paul Joseph Watson
UK 'Infowars' writer and alt right activist Paul Joseph Watson Screengrab

Alt-right editor Paul Joseph Watson's plan backfired after thousands of journalists accepted his offer to stay in the "crime-ridden" migrant suburbs of Malmo, Sweden's third largest city.

Watson offered to cover the accommodation and travel costs to Malmo of "any journalist claiming Sweden is safe" after President Trump referred to a non-existent terror attack in Sweden in a speech last week.

Trump's comment was ridiculed on social media and by the Swedish media. Former Swedish Prime Minister Carl Bildt wrote on Twitter: "Sweden? Terror attack? What has he been smoking? Questions abound."

Watson, the editor of far-right conspiracy website Infowars, wished to prove that Trump's claim was not unfounded and that immigration has driven up crime levels in Sweden.

He issued a challenge to reporters:

"Any journalist claiming Sweden is safe; I will pay for travel costs & accommodation for you to stay in crime ridden migrant suburbs of Malmo," he wrote on Twitter.

His offer was retweeted more than 6,000 times, with thousands of candidates signing themselves up. Comedian Al Murray put himself forward, writing: "I like to write. And Sweden is an ace city-break place." New Statesman writer Laurie Penny commented: "Oh I love Malmo! Sign me up!"

Newsweek writer and Vanity Fair editor Kurt Eichenwald also responded eagerly, asking Watson if he could bring his wife along on the trip.

Watson decided to donate $2,000 (£1,600) to US journalist Tim Pool who is planning to investigate "the claims of 'no go zones' and a rise in crime in Sweden that people believe are coming from migrants and refugees."

Pool said in a video on his YouTube Channel that he does "not side with anyone. I am a sceptic." He promised to thoroughly investigate reports that immigration contributes to rising crime levels and produce a documentary revealing his findings.

Malmo's deputy mayor Nils Karlsson responded to Watson's challenge that he was happy to meet any journalists who visited the city to discover the claims were unfounded.