The number of violent Islamist extremists in Sweden has soared from 200 in 2010 to ‘thousands’ today as an intelligence chief said ‘this is the new normal’.

‘We would say that [the number] has gone from hundreds to thousands now,’ Sapo chief Anders Thornberg told news agency TT in an interview, describing the situation as ‘serious’.

‘This is the “new normal” … It is a historic challenge that extremist circles are growing,’ he said.

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Thornberg said Sapo now receives around 6,000 intelligence tips a month concerning terrorism and extremism, compared to an average 2,000 a month in 2012.

Sapo has previously said that about 300 people from Sweden are known to have travelled to Syria and Iraq to join IS since 2012.

Jihadists or sympathisers from Sweden have been linked to several terrorist attacks in recent years.

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