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Antti Pelttari, the director general of the Finnish Security Intelligence Service (Supo), unveiled Supo’s national security review in a press conference in Helsinki on Monday, 10 December. (Credit: Vesa Moilanen – Lehtikuva)
Antti Pelttari, the director general of the Finnish Security Intelligence Service (Supo), unveiled Supo’s national security review in a press conference in Helsinki on Monday, 10 December. (Credit: Vesa Moilanen – Lehtikuva)

 

The threat of terrorism remains at the level elevated in Finland, according to the Finnish Security Intelligence Service (Supo).

Supo on Monday published its inaugural national security review, estimating that terrorist organisations operating in the country will likely seek to recruit and radicalise more supporters in the near future. 

The threat was first raised to the elevated level – the second lowest level of the four-tier assessment scale – in June 2017.

“There have been no signs of the terror threat subsiding. Individual actors and radicalised groups pose the biggest threat,” Antti Pelttari, the director general at Supo, was quoted as saying by Helsingin Sanomat.

The number of counter-terrorism target individuals has increased by over 35 per cent over the past four years to 370 on account of both radicalisation and the so-called foreign fighter phenomenon associated with the situations in Iraq and Syria.

Supo on Monday also shed light on the extent of foreign intelligence operations in Finland, saying that “several dozens” of employees of foreign intelligence agencies have been stationed permanently in the country. It added that it is becoming increasingly difficult to prevent illegal intelligence campaigns due to, for example, technological advances.

“Several foreign intelligence agencies are operating actively on Finnish soil. Cyber-espionage campaigns are also targeted regularly at Finland,” Pelttari said in a press release.

The two foreign powers mentioned in the report are China and Russia.

Russia, it said, has been publicly linked to cyber-espionage campaigns targeting governmental institutions, companies co-operating with them and companies engaged in product development and service production in the energy sector. China, in turn, has been publicly linked to cyber-espionage operations that utilise existing maintenance systems and new kinds of malware.

“The product development data of companies has been of particular interest,” wrote Supo.

Supo has previously published various analyses in conjunction with its annual review.

Aleksi Teivainen – HT