Sweden’s Minister for Home Affaris Anders Ygeman launched his government’s new counter-terrorism strategy in Stockholm yesterday. The policies unveiled are aimed at dissuading and disrupting would-be-terrorists looking to join radical groups, as well as preventing terror attacks themselves.
Ygeman referred to the Islamist attacks in Paris in January which left 17 people dead and the February shootings in Denmark that killed a further two innocent victims, saying:
“We have to understand that what happened in Paris and Copenhagen might well happen here.”
Practical measures Sweden intends to take will be proposed in parliament over the coming months, reports The Local. These will include tougher criminal penalties for the possession of grenades and bombs (a recurring problem for Sweden which Breitbart London has previously reported).
In terms of security measures, the new policies will allow for smoother cooperation between the governments of Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden – including the exchange of information between national intelligence services – so countries can support one another in the event of terror threats or an actual attack.
There will be stricter controls on those who finance terror groups and those who decide to join them abroad will also face prosecution upon their return to Sweden.
If you are one of the estimated 250-300 Muslims the Swedish security police estimate have travelled from Sweden to Iraq and Syria to join radical Islamist groups such as Islamic State, you will face prosecution. If that journey directly or indirectly contributes to Islamist killings the penalties will be even more severe.
In other practical measures, Ygeman said there will be limit to how many times a Swedish national can renew a passport within a defined time period. This should help prevent terrorists using “lost” travel documents.
Finally, the government of Sweden will also be asking parliament for the ability to send text messages to civilians warning them to stay away from specific locations,
The use of electronic messaging has also been taken up by the British government this week in its battle against the Islamic State. Although less of an emergency measure and more of a social media strategy the British government has launched a new Twitter account – @UKagainstISIL. The Telegraph explains the twitter account will provide updates on how the government is working to defeat Islamic State.
@UKagainstISIL has posted a video claiming the government is militarily removing Islamic State territory, cutting off their finances and reducing the number of foreign fighters travelling to join the Caliphate.
— UK Against ISIL (@UKAgainstISIL) August 28, 2015