• Sweden's news in English
 
app_header_v3
Sweden terror plot
Sweden on 'high' terror alert for the first time
Police outside Sweden's parliament on Wednesday. Photo: Janerik Henriksson/TT

Sweden on 'high' terror alert for the first time

The Local · 19 Nov 2015, 07:29

Published: 18 Nov 2015 15:40 GMT+01:00
Updated: 19 Nov 2015 07:29 GMT+01:00

The threat level has been raised to "high" (or "four"), the second most serious out of five possible categories. Only a level-five threat ("very high") is higher.
 
According to Säpo's definition, this means that "the probability that players have the intent and ability to carry out attacks is high".
 
Säpo's Director General Anders Thornberg called a press conference on Wednesday evening, telling reporters that one person was suspected of planning terror activities in Sweden and had been arrested in absentia.
 
Interior Minister Anders Ygeman later said that authorities were checking out reports that the suspect could be in Sweden, although he said it remained unclear at this stage.
 
Thornberg declined to give any further information about the suspect, including his nationality or age.
 
"We're at an intensive operative stage and are working to analyse the information," he told reporters.
 
"Violent Islamism is still the biggest threat against Sweden."
 

Säpo's Director General Anders Thornberg at the press conference. Photo: Fredrik Sandberg / TT
 
Thornberg added that the evidence gathered about a potential threat to Sweden was not directly linked to the terror attacks in Paris on Friday.
 
However he said: "There is a risk the past week's events could inspire individuals to carry out similar actions."
 
Mats Sandberg, head of Sweden's National Centre for Terrorist Threat Assessment (NCT) told reporters: "Isis views Sweden as a legitimate target of violent Islamism. We're not a prioritized target, but a legitimate one."
 
According to Sandberg, there are a "number of people" in Sweden that are considered to have the ability and the intention to carry out terror attacks in the Nordic nation and authorities are trying to establish how likely it is that their ideas could be put into action.
 
At a later press conference, Sweden's Interior Minister Anders Ygeman said that a series of measures already planned to increase security across the country would be put to parliament before Christmas, including making it more difficult for people to use fake passports when crossing the border into Sweden.
 
He said he hoped that there would be cross-party cooperation and that some of the policies could be fast-tracked.
 
Describing the shifting terror threat level, he added: "It is of course serious. It is the first time we're raising the level to four."
 

Sweden's Interior Minister Anders Ygeman, watched by a police officer at a press conference last week. Photo: Fredrik Sandberg/TT
 
 
Sweden's decision follows similar action in several other European countries including Italy, Belgium and Denmark, in the wake of the violence in France on Friday which left 129 people dead.
 
News of the changing threat level immediately sparked jitters in the Swedish capital, and became a talking point for commuters returning home during the evening rush hour, while others turned to social media to voice their concerns for friends and family in the city.

But Swedish authorities told people across the country that they did not need to change their behaviour in the wake of the new alert level.
 
Story continues below…

Police at Stockholm's central station on Wednesday. Photo: TT
 
 
Ygeman suggested that there were indications the terror threat concerned various official buildings, rather than being targeted at the general population. It was not immediately clear if he was referring to a reported threat against the parliament and government offices in Stockholm earlier this week.
 
Thornberg said there was "absolutely no need" for Swedes to be afraid, but explained that they should have a slightly heightened state of vigilance.
 
"If people are worried I understand that, but we are taking all necessary measures, and it's important we don't give in to the fear the terrorists want us to feel," added Ygeman during his press conference.

For more news from Sweden, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

The Local (news@thelocal.se)

Today's headlines
Sweden's Spotify hits 39 million subscribers
Spotify is gaining listeners. Photo: Erik Mårtensson/TT

Spotify has grown by nine million paying subscribers in five months, fending off competition from rivals.

Prosecutor wants asylum stabber convicted of murder
Prosecutor Linda Wiking. Photo: Adam Ihse/TT

The man was convicted of aggravated manslaughter for stabbing a worker to death at a home for young refugees in Sweden.

Old Swedish cash worth billions still in circulation
Old Swedish money. Photo: Micke Larsson/TT

Hand in your invalid Swedish bills to the bank by the end of the month.

Sweden moves to battle high rate of drug deaths
Sweden has among Europe's highest drug-induced mortality rates. Photo: Stian Lysberg Solum/NTB/TT

Sweden has among the highest number of drug-related deaths in the EU despite its zero-tolerance policy. The government wants to find out why.

Human skeleton found on abandoned farm in Sweden
Police at the farm in Hörby. Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT

Police suspect human remains found in a well on an abandoned farm in rural Sweden belonged to a man who was murdered.

The Local List
You'll never really be Swedish without trying this weird food
Kebab pizza. It exists. Photo: Maja Suslin/TT

The Local's intern Saina Behnejad on her love-hate relationship with Swedish cuisine.

Sweden's Stenson pulls out of Barclays with injured knee
Henrik Stenson at the Olympics this summer. Photo: AP Photo/Alastair Grant

Henrik Stenson's injury throws doubt on Europe's chances at next month's Ryder Cup.

The Local Recipes
How to make this delicious Swedish crayfish pasta
Swedish crayfish pasta. Photo: John Duxbury/Swedish Food

Combine the Swedish favourite of crayfish with pasta to impress with this simple yet tasty dish.

Drunken Christmas goat burner risks four years in jail
The Christmas goat looks at the fireworks and contemplates its future. Photo: Mats Åstrand/TT

His singed eyebrows were a dead giveaway.

Joe Biden: 'Sweden has shown great leadership'
Joe Biden, left, and Stefan Löfven. Photo: Anders Wiklund/TT

US Vice President Joe Biden praised Sweden for "punching way above its weight" in the global refugee crisis.

Sponsored Article
Malmö to host global skateboard championship
Travel
What are Sherpas doing on Sweden's highest mountain?
Sponsored Article
Life in Jordan: 'Undiscovered treasure'
Gallery
People-watching: August 24th
The Local Voices
'I want to be a businesswoman but I don’t care about money'
Blog updates

23 August

A Summer in Sweden (The Diplomatic Dispatch) »

"For our first year here in Sweden we decided to have all our holidays in Sweden.…" READ »

 

22 July

After the horror, carry on regardless (Globally Local) »

"This time last week, we were just digesting the horror of the Nice killings, in which…" READ »

 
 
 
Sponsored Article
The mystique of Asia - in the middle of Stockholm
National
Experts: Gothenburg grenade blast is 'part of a cycle of violence'
Sponsored Article
Why you should learn to trade (and just how easy it is)
Gallery
Property of the week: Karlsborg
National
Why Sweden could change its criticised detention laws
National
Watch this dog's reaction when she tries Swedish fermented herring
Sponsored Article
6 reasons expats use TransferWise to send money
Gallery
People-watching: August 19th-21st
Sponsored Article
'Sweden's Lauryn Hill' touches the country's musical soul
National
How to find student housing in Sweden
National
VIDEO: Swede films first Northern Lights of the season
Sponsored Article
6 simple travel hacks that will make your life easier
Gallery
People-watching: August 17th
Sponsored Article
Why expats choose international health insurance
Society
Swedish population nears ten million
The Local Voices
This Syrian artist found love in a Swedish library
Sponsored Article
Five easy ways to travel more often
National
Sex pigs halt traffic after laser attack on Pokémon teens. Only in Sweden.
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Gallery
Property of the week: Hammarby Sjöstad, Stockholm
Sponsored Article
Five things Americans should know about voting abroad
Society
Drunk knight detained in Stockholm
National
Can you solve this Swede's strange Star Wars mystery?
Sponsored Article
Jordan: where history meets adventure
Gallery
People-watching: August 12th-14th
Sponsored Article
Life in Jordan: 'Undiscovered treasure'
National
Swedes cheer first snow of the season
Sponsored Article
Jordan Pass: your ticket to the experience of a lifetime
Gallery
People-watching: August 10th
Sponsored Article
Why Jordan is the ‘Different’ East
The Local Voices
Syrian presenter: Swedish media should make more shows in Arabic
Sponsored Article
6 simple travel hacks that will make your life easier
Travel
Watch the meteor shower in Sweden
Lifestyle
How to survive a crayfish party
The Local Voices
Gabriel mastered Swedish and got accepted onto a medicine degree in just 7 months
3,395
jobs available