Intensified efforts to counter extremism

2019-06-11

In recent months, the Security Service has taken a number of actions against individuals identified as having a key role in extremist movements. As part of these efforts, the Security Service has applied to the Swedish Migration Agency for the expulsion of several individuals known to have been heavily involved in radicalisation for a long period of time. 

In the past few years, the extremist movements in Sweden have seen a significant growth and the number of individuals affiliated with violence-promoting extremism has risen from a few hundred to several thousand. Long-term action, in close collaboration with other government agencies, is taken by the Security Service to curb this trend.

“The Security Service is tasked with protecting Sweden and our country’s democratic form of government. We therefore seek to limit the freedom of action of individuals advocating violence as a means to reach their goals, or who try to persuade others to join groups that use violence to overturn the democratic system”, says Klas Friberg, Head of the Swedish Security Service.

One of the Security Service’s actions this spring has involved applying to the Swedish Migration Agency for the expulsion of several individuals assessed to pose a threat to national security, under the Act concerning Special Controls in Respect of Aliens. These interventions draw on extensive intelligence gathering aimed at identifying the contacts and activities of these individuals.

The actions have focused on a small number of individuals known to have been heavily involved in radicalisation for a long period of time. These individuals are known, for instance, to have played a key role in settings where radicalisation takes place, thereby contributing to the growth of violence-promoting extremism.

“The actions taken by the Security Service are aimed at expelling people from our country who are assessed to pose a threat to national security. These actions, which are only one of several ways in which the Security Service tackles the situation, may curb the growth of extremist movements. Preventing their growth is a crucial factor when it comes to reducing the threat from terrorism and safeguarding our country”, says Klas Friberg.

Under the Act concerning Special Controls in Respect of Aliens, the Security Service may apply to the Migration Agency for the expulsion of an individual assessed to pose a threat to national security. In this context, the Security Service may also place such individuals in temporary custody. The Migration Agency examines the Security Service’s application for expulsion and decides whether the individual should remain in custody. In this process, comments may also be submitted to the Migration Agency by the individual concerned. An appeal against an expulsion order can be made to the Government. The Migration Court of Appeal will hold a hearing on the case and submit its comments before the Government decides on the matter. Should the Migration Court of Appeal find impediments to the expulsion, the Government cannot decide otherwise.

“The Security Service continues its efforts to prevent the growth of extremism and to protect national security. In situations where an expulsion order cannot be enforced, the Security Service may continue to monitor the individual for instance by placing them under supervision with an obligation to report to the police on a regular basis”, says Klas Friberg.