Wednesday 10/20/21

The Finnish Intelligence Service detects an increase in hate campaigns

“Individual actors pose a potential threat that is hard to anticipate”, warn Supo's experts on its latest summary of the National Security Review

Hate campaign speech hatred

The Finnish Security Intelligence Service (SUPO) has recently warned the Government of an increase in hate campaigns, especially among far-right and anti-immigration groups. The statement above mentioned was included by this special police group on its latest summary of the National Security Review 2018.

SUPO is a national police unit operating under the Ministry of the Interior. As described in its website, it has among its core tasks counterintelligence, counterterrorism and security work. And its main goal is “to prevent such undertakings and crimes that may endanger governmental and social systems, or internal and external security of the state”.

In a document dated December 21 and titled Supo's National Security Review 2018, it draws special attention to the threat posed by domestic extremist movements. According to the evaluation made by its experts, in recent times "more and more persecution and hate campaigns are observed with the extreme right and anti-immigration circles".

After, the document details who are the main victims of this persecution and explains that the observed campaigns "have been directed against authorities, journalists and researchers, among others."

Finnish Intelligence analysts believe that "the most significant threat related to domestic extremism is posed by individual actors” and domestic extremism “is likely to remain more or less at the current level in the near future”. However, they call not to underestimate its importance: “If the large-scale hostile influencing becomes more commonplace, it may weaken the vital functions of the society”. “Individual actors pose a potential threat that is hard to anticipate”, the experts conclude.

Hate speech

The neo-Nazi threat

Supo’s National Security Review 2018 states that from the point of view of national security “the most noteworthy extremist movement is the neo-Nazi Nordic Resistance Movement”.

This group is a national-socialist organisation that currently has branches in Sweden, Finland, Norway and Denmark and pursues the establishment of a Nazi-style republic in Northern Europe. During its last public demonstration in Finland, on December 6, coinciding with the celebration of the Day of Independence, the police had to intervene after several of its members waved flags of the Third Right through downtown Helsinki.

The Finnish Security Intelligence Service explains in its risk assessment that, although the Court of Appeal of Turku has confirmed a decision of the Pirkanmaa district court to dissolve the Nordic Resistance Movement, “this judgement is not yet legally final”.

“Elevated” terrorist threat

With regard to the terrorist threat, Supo analysts believe that “the most significant threat is posed by individual actors or small groups motivated by radical Islamist propaganda”.

SUPO has detected an "increase" in radicalisation and identified 370 people who could be on the verge of becoming terrorists.

Among the main factors that explain this increase in the terrorist threat and the number of high-risk suspects is the rise in indigenous radicalisation and the phenomenon of foreign fighters related to Syria Iraq. The suspects “have more connections to international terrorism and an increasing percentage of them has, for example, taken part in an armed conflict or received terrorist training”, explains the document.

Regarding terrorism, the Finnish Intelligence experts’ assessment says that “it is likely that in the short run, the terrorist threat will remain elevated at level two on the four-level scale. The networks supporting terrorism that are active in Finland are likely to aim at radicalising and recruiting more supporters. It is possible that as the support networks grow, they also tend to conduct operational activity”.

Man hood by Lobostudio Hamburg

Hybrid influencing

Supo’s National Security Review 2018 identifies other threats for the Finnish state as foreign intelligence activities and cyber espionage. It also mentions the risk of “hybrid influencing” made by “major powers” interested in “causing damage” to the country “by narrowing the national sovereignty, for example”. However, the document does not mention any of those "major powers" interested in damaging to Finland.

If you want to read the whole National Security Review 2018 made by the Finnish Intelligence Security Service, you can access it by clicking HERE