Biggest 2017 threat for Sweden is ‘lone wolf’ Islamist attacks – report
Individual attacks performed by radicalized Islamists is considered the biggest threat in Sweden for 2017, according to country’s special security force report.
The document was compiled by Nationellt Centrum För Terrorhotbedömning (NCT), a group consisting of staff from Sweden’s security police.
The report named Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) the main threat, but notes that terrorist attacks are likely to be carried out by someone inspired by the terrorist groups’ actions, rather than orchestrated by an organization.
“The biggest risk we’re seeing is the individual player, who has been inspired and perhaps radicalized, almost on their own. In our view, that risk is greater than a major coordinated attack with several actors similar to Paris for example,” Mats Sandberg, head of NCT, told Swedish public radio on Wednesday.
Sweden’s security forces believe that about 300 Swedish nationals went to Syria and Iraq to join terrorist groups over the past few years, and there are people capable of attacks among them.
The report emphasizes that during 2016, the number of those going to Syria and Iraq dropped, probably due to “Daesh’s [Islamic State] increasingly repressed military position” and the “criminalization of the trips to Daesh.”
The main threats are home-grown terrorists, the report, as well as Sandberg, stressed. Last year’s attacks were largely perpetrated by nationals.
“What we’re seeing when it comes to the Western world, is that most of the planned and executed attacks are carried out by people who have not been to a conflict zone,” Sandberg told Swedish radio.
Sweden’s current national terrorist threat is “elevated,” or “three” on a scale of one to five.
Following recent terrorists attacks across the globe, Stockholm has decided to tighten up its security measures. Starting from February, new regulations will be applied to guard Sweden's nuclear plants. The move has been announced earlier this month, with
Swedish officials citing "the changing situation in the world" as the cause to reinforcing the protection of the areas. They also noted that terrorist groups such as IS pose a serious threat to nuclear power stations.