The Swedish government on Wednesday decided on details for an operation by the police authority and security police (Säpo) aimed at tackling politically motivated crime. Justice Minister Morgan Johansson has previously called for such efforts to be strengthened in the run-up the 2018 election.
Speaking to Sveriges Radio Ekot, Johansson said that during the election campaign, “as political intensity increases, there is also the risk that more violent individuals could try to use different opportunities to attack politicians or to go to large public gatherings”.
Extremist right-wing groups have become more visible in public over the past year, with neo-Nazi group Nordic Resistance Movement (NRM) in attendance at this year's Almedalen week, the country's biggest political festival, for the first time. Johansson noted that some members of the group, which held a demonstration in Gothenburg in September, own weapons and have previously committed crimes.
And the government expects left-wing extremists to become more visible in the run-up to the election too.
The risks posed by these groups include the spread of propaganda and disinformation as well as violence and harassment.
As part of the new operation, police will intensify their surveillance of extremist groups and work on a clear plan for security during the election campaign, thanks to more money and resources provided by the government.