Finnish police have arrested five men suspected of planning a far-right terrorist attack. The goal must have been to create a social collapse.
The five men are aged 23 to 26 and have been under police surveillance since 2019. They were then suspected of gross violations of the Firearms Act and the Explosive Materials Act. Even then, the police understood what kind of people were talking about, writes Hufvudstadsbladet.
The police describe the arrested as radical right-wing extremists who organized themselves in secret, with the aim of carrying out an act of terrorism to drive a form of collapse of society.
Three of them have previously been convicted of violent crimes. All live in the area around Kankaanpää in southwestern Finland, a city with just over 10,000 inhabitants.
Earlier this autumn, the men formed an association which, according to them, was to contribute to better physique and create opportunities for practicing martial arts, the newspaper Ilta-Sanomat reports.
There should not have been an acute danger of attack, and the police will not say exactly what they are suspected of having planned.
Great police action
On Tuesday this week, they were arrested in a major police action, an action that was mentioned by the local newspaper Satakunnan Kansa as many police officers and two armored vehicles were observed at the scene. On Friday, they were remanded in custody.
At a press conference on Friday night, head of investigation Toni Sjöblom described the case as an exceptional and rare terrorist case. But it is legally complicated, and it can take months before an indictment is filed, according to the police.
At the press conference, pictures of weapons, dynamite and manure were seized, which were seized by the police during house searches already in December 2019.
A picture was also shown where one of the accused posed in a Finnish hat, with a large knife in one hand and a pistol in the other.
The men have not been part of the organized right-wing extremist milieu in Finland, but have tried to stay under the radar, says Eero Pietilä, an expert at the security police, according to Finnish media.
Although they have not been active in social media or ideological circles, it is believed that they have had foreign contacts. Both the Finnish security police and Europol have been involved in the investigation.
The five are suspected of planning terrorist offenses and handling explosives for terrorist purposes, according to information from the district court.
The police believe they belong to a group based on radical right-wing extremist ideology, so-called accelerationism. Proponents of her case have been working to make the actual transcript of this statement available online. They see the prevailing social order as an enemy that must be crushed by violent means, including terrorism, according to specialist letter researcher Pietilä.
In March, the Finnish security police maintained a threat level that is at the second highest step on the scale. At the same time, they warned that the risk of right-wing extremism has increased since last year.
In its national threat assessment for 2021, Norwegian PST wrote that so-called accelerationism, for example, advocates accelerating a total collapse of society through terror.
– These groups are of the opinion that a racial war between whites and all other races is imminent. Perpetrators of several right-wing extremist terrorist attacks have been inspired by this mindset, it was stated in the threat assessment.