The Swedish security agency Sapo claims that the number of new terror attack tips has increased to at least one every other day, with the agency receiving 6,000 reports a month in general.
Fredrik Hallström, deputy director of Sapo’s unit for ideologically motivated suspects, said that he did not think the agency failed to recognize the danger of the Stockholm terror attacker last year but that so many tips come in on a regular basis that others were given priority, SVT reports.
“Approximately every other day comes the threat of an attack,” Hallström said, adding: “at the present time and before, the Security Police handled a number of attack threats that we judged to assess or dismiss.”
While Sapo did receive intelligence warning of a threat of attack from Stockholm terrorist and failed asylum seeker Rakhmat Akilov in late 2016, Hallström said the information was not substantive enough to take action and other threats were given higher priority.
What Happened in Sweden: Security Service Chief Says Terror Threat Is ‘New Normal’ https://t.co/kH9kM3EL3G
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Some in Sweden have slammed the agency for not doing enough to prevent the attack, like Professor Wilhelm Agrell, an expert in intelligence analysis who has demanded an independent inquiry into the agency’s actions.
In response to the demand for an inquiry, Hallström said: “In view of what we knew there and then, it was a reasonable decision, as an independent investigator has also found out afterwards that the security police could not have done much more there.”
Since last year’s terror attack the Swedish intelligence agencies and the Swedish police have begun closer cooperation, but the threat of an estimated 2,000 violent radical Islamic extremists still remains.
Sweden has also seen an influx of returning Islamic State fighters who previously fought with the terror group in the Middle East.
Some politicians, like Swedish Minister for Culture and Democracy Alice Bah Kuhnke, have suggested that the country should try and reintegrate returning fighters instead of prosecuting them.