Sweden’s security police request deportations over suspected terror links

Sweden's security service Säpo has requested the deportation of several individuals believed to be linked to international terror organizations.

Sweden's security police request deportations over suspected terror links
Klas Friberg, head of Sweden's security police, was interviewed during Almedalen week. Photo: Henrik Montgomery / TT

Säpo head Klas Friberg did not want to confirm the number of people concerned or to give further information about their identity, but said they were all suspected of contributing to other people choosing to travel from Sweden to join terrorist organizations abroad.

“Now we have reached a situation where we've been able to map different types of platforms from which people active in this environment have been able to preach about radicalization and support the use of violence to subvert society,” Friberg said, speaking to newswire TT in Gotland during the Almedalen political festival.

“We have now put this together in such a context that we can show it has influenced people to travel and join terrorist organizations.”

He added that the Swedish Migration Agency, which ultimately decides on whether the expulsion should be carried out, had also come to the conclusion that Säpo's evidence was sufficient. 

A few years ago, Säpo concluded that there were about 3,000 violence-promoting extremists in Sweden, of which about two thousand were in Muslim extremist circles.

Friberg said he believed those numbers were still accurate, and that the security police have been working closely on investigating funding of terrorist organizations by looking into different organizations, including school activities.

He added that radicalization was continuing even after the defeat of Isis in Iraq and Syria, saying: “The environments that nurture and inspire people to use violence are just as great as before, unfortunately.”

Säpo is also calling for an investigation into criminalizing the possession of terrorist propaganda, such as videos of executions.

“In almost all cases involving terrorism, we find this type of execution films on, for example, phones. If this were punishable, it would have a noticeable impact on this environment and many more than today could be prosecuted,” Friberg said. 

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