The Swedish government believes that Russian and Iranian parties are behind the influence campaigns against Sweden.
The news about the weaponization of the country’s psychological defenses was presented at a press conference in Stockholm on Tuesday.
Swedish Civil Defense Minister Karl Oskar Bohlen said that Sweden and Swedish interests have become the target of influence campaigns carried out by foreign parties, and this problem has escalated after the burning of the Holy Quran this summer.
He added that the campaigns aim to create division and conflict, also through threats and calls for violence against Swedish interests and Swedish citizens.
– Russian and Iranian actors
– Government agencies and state-supported actors spread incorrect information and manipulate the democratic conversation. Bohlin said freedom to form an opinion is prohibited.
According to Bohlen, Russian and Iranian actors are linked to these disinformation campaigns against Sweden.
The Swedish government is now proposing to add an additional eight million kronor to the Psychological Defense Authority (MPF) in the period 2024-2026. Bohlen believes that the operational capacity of the MPF must be strengthened.
In short, the MPF’s mission is to monitor the influence of foreign information on Sweden. MPF has 49 employees and is headquartered in Karlstad.
– We build community resilience, build and disseminate knowledge and conduct research, MPF Acting CEO Magnus Hjort said at the press conference.
The second highest threat level
On August 17, Sweden’s so-called terrorist threat level was raised by the security service Säpo to level four, on a scale of one to five. The number four means “major threat,” according to krisinformation.se.
The terrorist threat level depends on strategic assessments of actors’ intentions and ability to commit terrorist attacks against Sweden.
“Psychological defense is society’s shared ability to resist undue informational influence and other misinformation targeting Sweden,” according to MPF.
According to the report, an armed attack on Sweden cannot be ruled out
“Explorer. Unapologetic entrepreneur. Alcohol fanatic. Certified writer. Wannabe tv evangelist. Twitter fanatic. Student. Web scholar. Travel buff.”