Sweden continues to be designated as a target for terrorists

The National Center for Terrorist Threat Assessment (NCT) presents its assessment of the terrorist threat during the year on Tuesday.

– The terrorist threat is still high and complex, and we believe that will continue during this year, says Ahn-Za Hagström, head of NCT.

But this year’s assessment contains greater uncertainties than the previous one.

– We have seen that the intensity with which Sweden is singled out as a target varies, there will be peaks and valleys. Then the question is how persistent these peaks and troughs will be.

Slowdown during late autumn

In the late autumn, NCT saw a certain slowdown in the extent to which Sweden was singled out as a target, when the eyes were instead turned to the war between Israel and Hamas.

And NCT does not rule out that Sweden could move towards being seen again as a “legitimate” target, instead of a “priority”.

– It’s about that, that Sweden is not singled out to the same extent as we saw in bits and pieces during 2023. We would like to see that it lasts, and not just because the focus has shifted and that something else got a bigger place on the agenda , says Ahn-Za Hagström.

Is it still justified that Sweden is at number four in the terror threat level?

– We do not make any assessment that contradicts the security police chief’s latest decision to remain at a four, says Ahn-Za Hagström.

The terror threat level was raised to high, a four on the five-point scale, in August last year, and at the beginning of the year b

Extremist influencers

Ahn-Za Hagström emphasizes that the situation can change very quickly. There need not have been an actual burning of the Koran in Sweden – just the perception that it has happened can be enough, she says.

– It is also connected with individual actors, “extremist influencers”, and their opportunity to reach out to a wide audience and spin the narrative about Sweden.

The threshold for singling out Sweden is possibly a little lower today compared to before, she says.

– Sweden may be singled out again, but it may also be the case that the slowdown we saw in the late autumn persists, that is, that Sweden returns to being considered part of the West.