National Centre for Terrorist Threat Assessment

The National Centre for Terrorist Threat Assessment (NCT) is a permanent working group within the Swedish Counter-Terrorism Cooperation Council. The NCT is staffed by personnel from the National Defence Radio Establishment (FRA), the Military Intelligence and Security Directorate (MUST) and the Swedish Security Service.

The NCT produces long and short-term strategic assessments of the terrorist threat against Sweden and Swedish interests. The NCT is also tasked with producing strategic analyses of incidents, trends and international developments with a bearing on terrorism that may affect Sweden and Swedish interests, both today and in the future. These assessments are then presented to various Government Offices. The fourteen government agencies making up the Counter-Terrorism Cooperation Council also receive threat assessments.

The NCT produces analyses, including strategic analyses, and is not engaged in investigating crime.

Collaboration between government agencies leads to better threat assessments, which in turn leads to more effective protection of Sweden and Swedish interests. This cooperation also enhances the chances to make use of the combined knowledge of the FRA, MUST and the Security Service.

The NCT threat level scale

NCT uses a specific threat level scale in presentations and reports about terrorist threat assessments. The scale primarily aims to give readers a clear view of how the NCT currently assesses the terrorist threat to Sweden and Swedish interests abroad, and whether there have been any changes since the previous assessment. The assessments are limited to a specified time period, stated in each report.

The NCT´s assessments of the terrorist threat to Sweden and Swedish interests are based on secret information, and therefore the assessments themselves are also classified as secret. The NCT forms the assessment on the level of threat to Sweden and the Head of the Swedish Security Service makes the final decision on the threat level.

Permanent working group for cooperation between authorities

In 2005, the NCT was established as a working group within the Counter-Terrorism Cooperation Council. In 2009, this group was made permanent and staffed by personnel from FRA, MUST and the Security Service, on appointments for three years. They work in the same building and the positions of Head and Deputy Head rotate between the agencies.

The NCT is led by a management group consisting of the heads of the three agencies. The NCT has a head who is responsible for leading the day-to-day activities uder the management group´s direction.

The NCT is a concrete example of the cooperation between agencies aiming to improve Sweden´s ability to prevent, avert, thwart and manage the consequences of terrorist attacks on Sweden and Swedish interests.

The regular activities of these agencies are:
• The remit of the National Defence Radio Establishment is to engage in signal intelligence activities to meet the intelligence requirements of the requesting party and to lend support to the information security work within government agencies and state-owned companies.
• The Military Intelligence and Security Directorate engages in defence intelligence operations to support Swedish foreign, security and defence policy while also studying external threats against the nation.
• The aim of the Swedish Security Service´s work is to prevent and detect offences against national security and to counter terrorism.