Terrorist threat level raised to High

Published 17 August 2023

The Director General of the Swedish Security Service has taken the decision to raise the terrorist threat level from Elevated to High. The reason for this decision is the deteriorated situation with regard to attack threats to Sweden, and the assessment that the threat will remain for a long time.

The decision to raise the terrorist threat level is not linked to any specific event, but is to be considered in a strategic, long-term perspective. The development, which includes threats against Sweden over a long period of time, is serious and has an impact on Sweden’s national security.

– The threat posed to Sweden has changed gradually, and the attack threat posed by violent Islamist actors has increased in the past year. Sweden has gone from being considered a legitimate target for terrorist attacks to being considered a prioritised target. In our assessment, this threat will remain for a long time, and I have therefore decided to raise the terrorist threat level, says Charlotte von Essen, Director General of the Swedish Security Service.

The threat level will be raised from Elevated (3) to High (4) on a five-level scale. The reason for raising the terrorist threat level is to send a message to all concerned societal actors about the importance of continuing to take measures to reduce the risk of terrorist attacks.

– Government agencies and other societal actors must continue to take measures to prevent and reduce the threat of terrorist attacks in Sweden, and it is important to create the conditions needed to maintain these efforts over time. By doing this, we make Sweden a safer place, says Charlotte von Essen.


The threat level scale

  • The terrorist threat level scale is based on strategic assessments of actors’ intent and capability to carry out terrorist attacks targeting Sweden. The Swedish threat level scale is of a strategic nature and applies to all of Sweden, over time.
  • It is the Director General of the Swedish Security Service who takes any decision to change the threat level for Sweden. The decision is based on an overall assessment of information, which also includes the assessment from the National Centre for Terrorist Threat Assessment (NCT).
  • The terrorist threat level in Sweden has been Elevated since the autumn of 2010, which corresponds to level three on the five-level scale. For a short period of time between 18 November 2015 and 2 March 2016, the threat level was High, which corresponds to level four on the five-level scale.

Assessments according to the threat levels:

  • No identified threat (1)
  • Limited threat (2)
  • Elevated threat (3)
  • High threat (4)
  • Very high threat (5)


 17 August 2023

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