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Security police raises Finland's terrorist threat level to 'elevated'

The Finnish Security Intelligence Service (Supo) said it has raised its assessment of Finland's terrorist threat to "elevated," which is one step above its previous assessment of "low."

Suojelupoliisin talo.
Supo, the Finnish Security Intelligence Service's headquarters in Helsinki. Image: Yle

Supo, the Finnish Security Intelligence Servcie, has slightly upgraded its assessment of the likelihood of a terrorist attack in Finland. Supo said the level currently stands at "elevated," whereas earlier it was "low."

In a brief report on the new assessment in English, Supo said that the most significant terrorist threat in Finland is posed by "individual actors or small groups motivated by radical Islamist propaganda or terrorist organisations encouraging them."

Supo said such individuals would be likely to have direct or indirect links to radical Islamist networks or organisations, and that Supo is aware of some "350 counter-terrorism target individuals." Fighters who have left Finland to fight for the so-called Islamic State have also risen in the ranks of the terrorist organisation to significant positions.

"The number of target individuals has risen especially in the last few years and increased by [about] 80 percent since 2012. This trend is assessed to go on, as a consequence of radicalisation and detection of new networks," the agency said.

"In addition to the increase in number, the links of target individuals to terrorist activity are also more direct and more serious than before. An increased number of them has either taken part in an armed conflict, expressed willingness to participate in armed activity, or received terrorist training," Supo said.

In the report, Supo said: "Threat levels are used to describe the terrorist threat against Finland and Finnish interests. The factors taken into account when assessing the threat level include the available intelligence, operational capacity and motivation of terrorist organisations or persons and groups linked to them, and the time span of possible attack plans. The aim of the classification is to provide a clear picture of the nature of the threat against Finland and to determine whether the threat level has changed from the previous assessment."

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