Sweden’s domestic extremist environment is estimated to have grown by leaps and bounds, from hundreds to thousands, fuelled by global links ranging from counselling to financing.
Extremist groups in Sweden risk being strengthened and radicalised further through their links to foreign countries. Such ties provide everything from increased tactical knowledge and ideological inspiration to concrete funding, according to a new study.
The 115-page report “Boundless extremism. A study of transnational connections to Swedish radical environments” carried out by the Swedish National Defence College on behalf of the Centre Against Violent Extremism (CVE) is presented as groundbreaking in its approach and scope.
The researchers shed light on three different types of transnational connections: ideological, operational (participating in joint actions or planning common strategies), and financial.
According to Filip Ahlin, an analyst at the Centre for Asymmetric Threats and Terrorism Studies (CATS), digital tools possess both an instrumental function and a socialising function.
“This means that the reach of the transnational networks becomes larger and more accessible, which creates additional opportunities to establish even more contacts”, Ahlin said.
For instance, the person who carried out the terrorist attack on Drottninggatan Street in Stockholm on 7 April 2017, had contact with individuals from Daesh*, discussed the…