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It’s time to mull punishment for having & watching ‘terrorist propaganda’ – Swedish security chief

It’s time to mull punishment for having & watching ‘terrorist propaganda’ – Swedish security chief
The head of Sweden’s Security Service has called on the government to investigate whether it is feasible to punish anyone found with “terrorist propaganda,” arguing that even looking at such materials is an incitement to violence.

Klas Friberg, who leads Säpo, the Swedish security agency responsible for counter-espionage and counter-terrorism, wrote in an op-ed that he and his colleagues work “around the clock” to protect Sweden from terrorism.

Despite their best efforts, the risk of terrorist attacks remains high, Friberg said, partly due to Islamic State’s (IS, formerly ISIS) “Hollywood-like propaganda machine” which produces “gruesome imagery with both living and dead people.”

The security official noted that the materials are used to recruit new supporters, but that Swedish authorities can do nothing to stop the propaganda from spreading because it is not criminal to possess or view these videos and images.

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Arguing that “terrorism must be countered in every way,” Friberg called on the government to open an inquiry into whether it should be a punishable offense to handle violent content produced to spread the ideology of Islamic State. He says the legislation would not be radical, drawing a parallel to laws prohibiting the possession of child pornography.

This could help Säpo investigate and prosecute those deemed a threat to Sweden, he said, adding that measures must be taken to ensure that “rights and freedoms” are preserved.

Sweden suffered a terrorist attack in 2017, when an IS supporter rammed a truck into a crowd of people on a busy street in Stockholm, killing five people.

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