Photo from the press conference. Photo: Fredrik Sandberg/TT
Photo from the press conference. Photo: Fredrik Sandberg/TT

Sweden raises national terror threat level

Säpo recommends "certain vigilance"
2:05 min

The raised threat level follows "concrete information" about a threat against Sweden according to the Intelligence and Security Police (Säpo). A warrant has been issued for the arrest of one suspect. 

Sweden has raised the threat level from 3 to 4 on the 5-point scale, indicating a "high threat" of a terrorist act in the country. Level 4 means that it is "likely that actors have the intention and ability to carry out an attack". The next, and highest, step would mean that it is "very likely".

At a press conference on Wednesday evening, the head of Säpo, Anders Thornberg said the decision to raise the threat level stems from a combination of concrete information received about a threat against Sweden and the general development in Europe, and the risk that some individuals may be inspired by the terror attack in France to commit violent acts.

According to the head of the national centre for terror threat assessments (NCT) at Säpo, Mats Sandberg, Sweden is not deemed a "prioritised target" for an IS-attack, but nevertheless a "legitimate" target. 

People living in Sweden will notice an increased police presence in public spaces, but they should not be worried, said Anders Thornberg. However, he did recommend a "certain vigilance". Meanwhile Mats Sandberg, at NCT, urged people to "continue as usual".

According to the daily Göteborgs-Posten, Säpo is looking for an Iraqi man who supports IS, and who has travelled from Germany to Sweden. This was however not confirmed, nor denied, at the press conference.

The new threat level is the highest ever in Sweden, according to the news agency TT. The last time the threat level was raised was in October 2010, when officials moved it from from "low" to "elevated". 

Danish police have also increased the threat level, from "elevated" to "significantly elevated", which is the second highest on their scale. 

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