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Säpo: Militant Islamists "greatest threat" to Sweden

Published måndag 12 januari 2015 kl 10.53
"They get either disillusioned or more radical"
(4:42 min)
Anders Thornberg, Säpo-chef. Foto: Janerik Henriksson/TT
Anders Thornberg, head of Säpo. Photo: Janerik Henriksson/TT

Swedish intelligence service Säpo claims that at least 130 Swedes have gone to fight in Syria and Iraq and that 80 have returned to Sweden after fighting abroad.

Säpo head Anders Thornberg told tabloid Aftonbladet that those individuals could pose a threat to Sweden and he also warned of potential terrorists on the far-right and far-left fringes. 

“Currently the greatest threat comes from violent Islamists,” Thornberg said.

Out of the 130 people who have travelled to Syria, a number have apparently joined Isis. In December, the figure was 110 and there are likely many more unknown cases, too, with the real number potentially closer to 300, according to reports.

“We don’t think all of them are potential terrorists, but we have to go through all of them to see whether there are any who are ready to carry out terrorist attacks," Anders Thornberg told news agency TT.

Swedes were involved in the planned attack against Danish newspaper Jyllandsposten after it published the notorious Mohammed cartoons. Had it been successful, that attack would have been similar to the one against satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo in Paris over the weekend.

There was also a suicide bombing in central Stockholm in 2010 and Säpo says it has prevented two potential terrorist attacks in Sweden in recent years.

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