Terrorist threat level rise in Sweden not to affect Finland: Supo

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The rise in the terrorist threat level to high in Sweden would not impact on the terrorist threat level in Finland, said the Finnish Security and Intelligence Service (Supo) on Thursday.

“The situation in Finland is really different to Sweden as the law here (Finland) entitles the police better opportunities to intervene in the destruction of religious symbols than in Sweden,” Supo wrote in a twitter post in Finnish in the afternoon, adding that violating religious peace is punishable in Finland as per the law.

Supo also said the Finnish authorities are closely monitoring the situation.

“Sweden has now been the target of radical Islamist propaganda in an exceptional way,” the twitter post added.

Earlier on the day, the Swedish Security Service (SAPO) said that the terrorist threat level in Sweden has been raised from "elevated" to "high."

The threat posed by violent actors has increased over the past year, Director General of the Swedish Security Service Charlotte von Essen said in a press release, reported Xinhua.

"Sweden has gone from being considered a legitimate target for terrorist attacks to being considered a prioritized target. In our assessment, this threat will remain for a long time," von Essen said.

She said the decision to raise the terrorist threat level was not linked to "any specific event, but is to be considered in a strategic, long-term perspective."

The last time SAPO raised the threat level to "high" was during a brief period between Nov. 18, 2015 and March 2, 2016.

Sweden and Denmark have been under the spotlight in recent weeks after several extremists repeatedly burned or desecrated the Quran in the two countries' capitals, which sparked criticism from Muslim countries across the world.

Meanwhile, Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson said on Thursday that the government had thwarted several terrorist attacks, reported Xinhua.

Addressing the same press conference, Minister for Justice Gunnar Strommer said: "During spring, several people were arrested in Sweden and abroad suspected of having prepared attacks in Sweden."

Strommer did not comment further on these arrests, but Swedish Television (SVT) reported that there were at least two known cases.

In April, five men were arrested in coordinated dawn raids in three Swedish cities. Four of them were later detained on suspicion of planning attacks triggered by the burning of the Quran, SVT reported.

Also in April, two men suspected of planning an attack on a church in Sweden were arrested by police in Germany, SVT reported.

"We know that planned acts of terrorism have been hindered," Kristersson said at a press conference, hours after the Swedish Secret Service's decision to raise the terrorist threat level from "elevated" to "high".

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Source: www.dailyfinland.fi

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