The Swedish security police (Säpo) estimate that there are thousands of violent extremists in Sweden today. The increase in recent years has been dramatic, reports SVT.
"We have never seen anything like that in the past," says Säpos Director General Anders Thornberg in a interview with TT.
In particular, it is about violent Islamist extremists. In 2010, Säpo in a report estimated that there were about 200.
"We will say that it has gone from hundreds to thousands now," says Thornberg to TT.
New figures are being compiled and the situation is serious, according to the Säpo boss.
"It's a new normality, it's a historic challenge that extremist environments grow," says Thornberg.
It's about everything from people who sympathize with extremist violence messages to those who inspire, recruit or raise money. The largest concentrations are in Stockholm, Gothenburg, Malmö and Örebro, according to Säpo.
Thornberg emphasizes at the same time that there are only a few who have both the intention and the ability to commit terrorist attacks.
The reason that the extremist environment has grown so much depends primarily on the propaganda by the Islamic State (IS). The war in Iraq and Syria has gathered Islamist extremists in a way that has not been seen before.
"In the past we had different environments, we had radicalized people from North Africa, the Middle East and Somalia, but they were completely separated," says Thornberg.
In the last two years, the number of people arrested suspected of jihadist activities in Europe has almost doubled. And women and children play an increasingly important operational role, according to the annual report by Europol.
Continue to import the Middle East and Africa will surely help.
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