The Swedish Security Service (Säkerhetspolisen) launched a very slick, professional-looking new website on March 26th, with an English-language version as well as a Swedish one. If you go to the publications page and follow the links, you’ll find a series of pdf documents on various topics.
The latest annual report for the Security Service is from 2005, and can be found in pdf format here. It’s an expensively-produced and visually appealing PR sheet, but it’s also an interesting read.
As you would expect — it is Sweden, after all — there’s a lot of emphasis on the dangers from right-wing nationalist and crypto-fascist groups. But the report also talks about left-wing extremists and other security threats against Sweden.
The most interesting thing, however, is what Swedish Security has to say about Islamic terrorism:
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Low level of threat but increased risk of terrorist attacks
The overall level of threat against Sweden is low. There is, however, an increased risk of terror attacks, mainly as concerns foreign interests in Sweden. The intelligence threat from certain foreign powers remains, although, in later years, focus has shifted from military issues to politics and technology. The threat posed by domestic political extremist groups is low, although the tendency towards an escalation of violence is alarming.
New terrorist networks are difficult to detect
The risk of a large terrorist attack in Sweden is limited, whereas the risk of attacks against certain foreign interests in Sweden has increased. There is also a risk that terrorists and their sympathisers conduct supporting activities in Sweden. This threat is posed mainly by Islamist extremist groups.
The Islamist motivated terrorism is currently going through a phase of decentralisation. Up until 11 September 2001, it was characterised by a global and relatively interrelated network structure. Today, it largely consists of regional and more or less independent networks, which makes the work of the security services more difficult. Moreover, there is a clear and dangerous radicalisation in some Islamist circles in Europe as well as in Sweden. There are also persons in Sweden who in various ways support acts of terrorism in other countries, for instance through financing,
Intelligence activities in Sweden
We know that Sweden and Swedish interests are the targets of ongoing intelligence activities. This gathering of intelligence mainly focuses on political issues and advanced technology, including defence technology, The actors engaging in this type of activity in Sweden do so on a broad scale, and work systematically.
The developments in the world, and above all the increased terrorist threat, have entailed a greater need for intelligence. In many countries, intelligence services have been accorded more resources and a broader mandate. In the long run, this may result in more foreign intelligence actors being tempted to conduct illegal operations in Sweden.
It’s encouraging not only that Swedish intelligence is monitoring the Islamist groups, but that it is also willing to discuss the issue publicly. There’s no prescription for solutions — the security service has nothing to say about the decline in the numbers of native Swedes, the population explosion of unemployed and criminal immigrant groups in Sweden’s cities, or the suffocating blanket of multiculturalism and socialism that makes the whole mess possible.
But at least they’re watching it, and talking about it.
The pdf document linked here was locked for copying, which was very annoying. I had to print the thing and then scan the pages I wanted and run them through the OCR in order to get a working text to quote here.
More and more pdfs seemed to be locked this way. I’m not sure of the purpose — anybody can print and copy the thing, as long as it’s not locked for printing as well.
Maybe they want to discourage people from copying, so that only the dedicated blogging zealot will go to the trouble of posting the text. Good thing I’m a dedicated blogging zealot…
Hat tip: Harry Palmer.