Sunday, January 16

Five men arrested in Finland for an ultra-right wing attack plan

Five young men have been arrested and detained in Finland for planning an “ultra-right wing attack” by bomb and firearms, unprecedented in the Nordic country, authorities said on Friday.

According to an official of the Finnish Homeland Security Service (Supo), the five men aged “around 25” display “accelerationist” convictions, a white supremacist movement linked to shootings in the United States and wanting to stir up racial division in the United States. the society.

These are the first arrests for a far-right terrorist attack in Finland, according to police.

The suspects were arrested on Tuesday and live in Kankaanpää, a small town of 13,000 inhabitants in the southwest of the country. They were presented to a judge on Friday and remanded in custody.

The possible target (s) have not been disclosed, nor the details of a possible modus operandi.

The five men had been under surveillance since a first arrest two years ago, police said at a press conference.

Searches carried out in December 2019 had uncovered “a significant amount of firearms, ammunition and explosives,” said Commissioner Toni Sjöblom.

They display “accelerationist ultra-right tendencies,” explained Supo representative Eero Pietilä.

According to ultra-right experts, the “accelerationists” hope to stir up the chaos of the inter-ethnic conflict to trigger a major uprising among ethnic Westerners. Small groups have been identified in several countries, but the movement is recent.

Finnish investigators have found “terrorist material” in their possession, which together with other investigative evidence “reinforces the impression that they have become radicalized and gives reason to suspect them of terrorist crimes”, they said. also indicated.

– “Neo-Nazis” –

The five twenties did not appear to be active in organized far-right groups, but on the contrary tried to remain discreet.

“A small group like this that idealizes terrorist violence works in secrecy and their activity does not include links with publicly organized far-right groups,” said Pietilä.

According to residents of Kankaanpää quoted by the Finnish media, one of the suspects was however described as a “skinhead” and two others known to be “neo-Nazis”.

Police showed a photo of one of the suspects posing with a large knife and pistol in the other, his eyes hidden behind a ski mask.

The investigation should last several months, the prosecution having given until March 31 before pronouncing a possible indictment.

The arrest of the five men for “preparation of a terrorist act” had been announced earlier in the afternoon, without details. The European police agency Europol was associated with the investigation.

Last March, Finnish intelligence said the terrorist threat to the Nordic country of 5.5 million people was “high”, the second lowest on a scale of four.

The services warned, however, that the risk associated with right-wing extremism was “more worrying” than the previous year.

Antiterrorism-related terrorist plans are rare in Finland.

The charge of “terrorism” was first brought up in 2018, after a failed Moroccan asylum seeker, Abderrahman Bouanane, stabbed ten people, killing two, in the city of Turku in the southwest of the country.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *