The chief of the Swedish Security Police (Säpo) has demanded the government look at tabling laws to criminalise the possession of terrorist propaganda.
Säpo head Klas Friberg argued that not only do police regularly find propaganda in the possession of terror suspects and extremist recruiters but that some of the material also gives instructions on how to carry out terrorist acts, Swedish broadcaster SVT reports.
According to Friberg, in nearly ever counter terrorist case “we find films and pictures with extremely serious acts of violence and executions. The material is produced to recruit supporters or to reinforce the conviction of sympathisers preparing acts of violence.”
Friberg highlighted a case in 2016 of two Gothenburg men who were convicted for terrorist offences while in the Middle East, saying that the best evidence in the case came from a film depicting the two men demonstrating decapitation techniques.
If the police were able to arrest those in possession of such materials, Friberg argued, it would give the Swedish justice system greater ability to prosecute radicalised people on the national terror watchlist.
Stockholm Anti-Extremism Tsar: ISIS Returnees Now ‘Caring Citizens’ https://t.co/MNjr3s0qti
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He also argued that banning the possession and viewing of such material, with laws similar to those around child pornography, could also lead to a decrease in radicalisation.
Currently, Sweden’s laws surrounding even membership in a terrorist group are lacking, according to experts like Magnus Ranstorp who said earlier this year that the country should emulate the laws of neighbouring Norway where Islamic State members are prosecuted upon their return to the country.
Since the fall of the Islamic State “caliphate” in Syria and Iraq, some Swedish members of the terror group have returned to the country but many, including other Muslims, are fearful of what they may do upon their return.
A troubling report from February of this year alleged that returning members of the terror group in the southern city of Malmö had even been engaged in recruitment in underground mosques.