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Suspected spies found working for Swedish agencies: report

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Suspected spies found working for Swedish agencies: report
From right, Säpo head Anders Thornberg and security department head Fredrik Agemark. Photo: Janerik Henriksson/TT
11:04 CET+01:00
Sweden's security police Säpo has investigated several suspected spies working for key Swedish agencies in the past year, the service has revealed.

Säpo released its annual report outlining current security threats to Sweden on Thursday.

Fredrik Agemark, who is the head of its department in charge of security protection, told a press conference attended by several news media, including The Local, that their team had investigated several cases in 2016 where people employed by authorities had "been of assistance to foreign powers".

He said that these cases included spies applying for jobs within agencies considered crucial to Sweden's democratic and security interests as well as foreign powers attempting to recruit staff at these agencies.

No suspects were prosecuted in any of the cases.

"There's an ongoing intelligence gathering in our country, we keep seeing how people are being approached, we're seeing electronic attacks, that all available means are being used. Säpo does not wait until someone becomes a full-fledged spy, but intervenes before that," said the head of the security services, Anders Thornberg.

ANALYSIS: The four big security challenges facing Sweden today

He and his colleagues also said that they had noted several cyber attacks in the past year carried out by state actors, either to access information or as an attempt to simply disrupt Sweden's activities.

He declined to name which state or states were behind the attempts, but described Russia as the biggest threat.

Last year the agency confirmed that some Russian diplomats had been asked to leave Sweden amid rising concerns of intelligence threats.

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