Sweden raises terror threat alert
Stockholm: Sweden has raised the country's terror threat alert to its highest level ever because of an increased threat of terror attacks, security officials said on Friday.
The intelligence agency said the alert had been upped from level two to level three on a five-point scale for the first time in the country's history. But the agency added that it does not believe that there is any immediate threat and did not mention any possible targets.
The evaluation, based on information gathered by the security police, the military intelligence service and the National Defence Radio Establishment, was due to "changed activity within certain environments in Sweden, activities that are evaluated to be targeting Sweden," it said.
Officials said that security police chief Anders Danielsson had made the decision in mid-September, but did not elaborate on the information that triggered the decision.
Magnus Norell, a terrorism expert at the Swedish Defence Research Agency, said he believes the raised alert is based on increased activity among the select groups the intelligence service keeps under observation.
"I would think that this means they are seeing more meeting and planning activity among those groups," Norell said. "But this is absolutely not the same thing as saying there are any concrete plans to attack."
Elsewhere, security officials said this week that a terror plot to wage Mumbai-style shooting sprees or other attacks in Britain, France and Germany was still active. Both European and US officials said the plot was still in its early stages and not considered serious enough to raise the terror threat levels.