Increased threat to Sweden’s international force

The threat to the Swedish Armed Forces’ international operations has increased. During the year there have also been reports which confirm that foreign powers are showing considerable interest in the our advanced weapons systems and the Swedish capacity to set up and take responsibility for a Battlegroup.

An Observer team on patrol in their area of responsibility in Afghanistan. Photo: Andreas Karlsson/FBB

"We have noted over the last year that some foreign powers have been gathering intelligence relating to certain of our military units. Both officers and other ranks have been approached for sensitive information. We have also observed the interception of Swedish signals traffic by airborne and seagoing platforms, and this has involved several nations", says John Daniels, Head of the Office of Military Security.

The Office of Military Security, part of the Swedish Military Intelligence and Security Service (MUST), will be issuing its annual report on Tuesday. The report covers a wide range of issues, everything from foreign powers’ intelligence gathering activities directed against Swedish interests to thefts of copper and new security check procedures.
The Military Intelligence and Security Service is engaged in identification of threats posed to the Swedish Armed Forces both in Sweden and abroad. These threats include foreign intelligence activity, criminality, terrorism, sabotage and subversion.

"We must not forget that criminal groups are actors posing very real threats to the Swedish Armed Forces both in the Balkans and in Afghanistan", says John Daniels.

Threats against members of the Armed Forces and improper pressure on high-level decision-makers in the defence organisation have been uncovered during the year. The main threat of a criminal nature relates to theft, that is to say attempts to steal weapons, ammunition and advanced protective equipment. During 2007 a number of weapons have been reported missing and items of protective equipment have either disappeared or been stolen.

During 2007 the Swedish Armed Forces suffered thefts of metal, mostly copper, from many locations surrounding protected sites. In the main this is evidence of external criminality which is being directed against several sectors of society.

"The misappropriation of copper wire may sound like a bagatelle, but if our lightning conductors do not function as they should, the end result could be explosions at one or more ammunition storage sites, with serious damage as a consequence. We have also noted that thefts of fuel have continued during the year, mainly in Norrland", adds John Daniels.