Seven Threats and Vulnerabilities

Sweden is a playing field for the conflicts of other states

Competition and conflicts between the superpowers has increased, and there has been a change in the world order. States display their power through an economic, political and diplomatic tug-of-war, for example by gathering intelligence and by exerting political influence. Sweden is used as a playing field by hostile states in this power struggle.

A broader threat, and new critical assets

The threat posed to Sweden has become increasingly complex. Because of this, and the fact that Sweden is strengthening its total defence capability, changes are being made regarding what will be considered critical assets. Hostile states are becoming increasingly interested in civil targets, and are using the cyber arena to gather intelligence and to carry out influence operations and malicious attacks. Entities have insufficient capability to protect their operations from cyber attacks.

Space as an intelligence areana

An increasing number of countries regard space as a future conflict arena. Space is already regarded as an intelligence arena. This development directly and indirectly affect the security situation in and the intelligence threat to Sweden. This is a significant factor which affects the security of Sweden and must be considered in the context of total defence. We must keep abreast of this development.

Fast-paced digitalisation is increasing threats and vulnerabilities

Due to the pandemic, the pace at which society has become digitalised has increased. However, this fast-paced digitalisation has brought with it an increase in vulnerabilities, as there is insufficient protection against attacks. This vulnerability could be used by hostile states. In the wake of the pandemic, both hostile states and violent extremists are taking advantage of digitalisation, by e.g. spreading conspiracy theories and disinformation, to increase polarisation and to promote the idea of the inability of society.

Extremism is gaining ground

Violent extremism constitutes a threat, both in terms of attacks and subversive activities. At the same time, extremism in the wider sense of the word is growing. New actors are constantly being noted in the flow of information. The common denominator in violent extremism is a mistrust in society and its representatives. The development of extremism in Sweden entails a risk to national security, and extensive cooperation is needed across society to cope with this risk.

Young people are being radicalised online

Digital platforms provide an arena which enables radicalisation, recruitment and planning as well as encouragement of ideologically-motivated criminal activities. Such platforms also enable the establishment of virtual groups that do not require a physical community where individuals can confirm and reinforce their perceptions of the world. Digital platforms make it easier for underage individuals to take part in such contexts. Several attacks and other acts of violence inspired by violent right-wing extremism have been planned by underage perpetrators who were radicalised online.

An accumulated security threat

The number of individuals assessed to pose a security threat is increasing, as is the number of expulsion orders resulting from this. Only a very small proportion of expulsion orders can be enforced. Therefore, the security threat keeps growing. However, the security threat is not only due to the large number of expulsion orders that cannot be enforced, but also to the total increase in the number of expulsion orders, including those that can be enforced.

Last Modified

 15 June 2022

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