Development of violent right-wing extremism

2019-08-23

The Security Service has noted a development in the violent right-wing extremist scene that could increase the risk of certain individuals being inspired to carry out attacks or violent crime. This development, in which violent right-wing extremist ideology might be going from something considered extreme to something considered normal, could promt certain individuals to become radicalised.

Several attacks have recently been carried out around the world by individuals inspired by a right-wing extremist ideology. Our Service has received enquiries concerning various incidents and how we assess this development.

“We have noted that a violent right-wing extremist ideology, which used to be limited to a small and organised white power scene, is becoming more widespread and attracting more people. With various right-wing extremist groups starting to converge, certain individuals might be propelled to carry out xenophobic crimes. This development must be closely monitored”, says Klas Friberg, Head of the Swedish Security Service.

For some time now, the Service has noted a development, both in Sweden and in Europe, the US, etc., with the threat of attacks or serious violent crime emanating from actors who are on the fringes of the white power movement and who are being radicalised online. They are for example being encouraged to act and do something before it is too late, in a way similar to that used by other extremist movements that encourage its adherents to use whatever means are available.

“Besides attacks and serious violent crime, the Security Service has noted an insidious long-term threat to our democracy, with certain individuals in the white power movement carrying out less serious crimes against politicians, other public officials, and minority groups. The challenge for our Service lies in detecting and assessing actors sympathising with extremist movements who could quickly put words into action”, says Ahn-Za Hagström, Senior Analyst at the Swedish Security Service.

The remit of the Service is to protect Sweden and the nation's democracy, and we work continuously, both on our own and in cooperation with other government agencies, to reduce the threat from extremist movements. In the last few years, we have also intensified our ongoing work against violent right-wing extremist individuals.

“Hate rhetoric and increased polarisation accelerates the development in which violent right-wing extremist ideology might be going from something considered extreme to something considered normal. This must be addressed by society as a whole, at every level, and this must be done in time.” says Klas Friberg.