2,000 Islamist Extremists in Sweden: Security Police

The Local (Sweden), July 3, 2017

Two thirds of some 3,000 violent extremists currently in Sweden are believed to have Islamist motives, the head of the country’s security police Säpo said on Monday.

Speaking during Almedalen Week, Anders Thornberg mentioned the figure following an interview last month in which he stated that extremists had soared from a couple of hundreds a few years ago to thousands.

Anders Thornberg, Swedish Security Service (Säpo), Dan Eliasson, National Police Commissioner, Mats Lӧfving

From left to right: Anders Thornberg, Swedish Security Service (Säpo), Dan Eliasson, National Police Commissioner, and Mats Lӧfving, Deputy Director of the Swedish Police Authority. (Credit Image: © Ibl/Rex Shutterstock via ZUMA Press)

Although “few extremists” have “the will and ability” to carry out attacks, they must be found and closely followed. “It’s important that everyone in Sweden takes responsibility to end this trend,” he said.

Thornberg said there are around 3,000 violent extremists in Sweden. Some 2,000 of those are believed to have Islamist motives, and the remaining originate from far-right and far-left movements.

A 2010 Säpo report estimated the number of violent Islamist extremists in the country at 200.

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Säpo has previously said that about 300 people from Sweden are known to have travelled to Syria and Iraq to join organizations such as Isis since 2012.

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