In Finland, five men arrested for a project of “ultra-right attack”

Five men were arrested and detained in Finland for having projected a “Ultra-right attack” using bombs and firearms, authorities said on Friday (December 3rd). According to an official of the Finnish internal security service (Supo), the five men, aged“About 25 years”, display beliefs “Accelerationists”, a white supremacist movement wanting to stir up racial division in society.

These are the first arrests for a far-right terrorist attack in Finland, according to police. The suspects, who live in Kankaanpää, a small town of 13,000 inhabitants in the southwest of the country, were arrested on Tuesday. They were presented to a judge and remanded in custody on Friday. The possible target (s) have not been disclosed, nor the details of a possible operating mode.

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 uncovered “A significant amount of firearms, ammunition and explosives”, explained Commissioner Toni Sjöblom.

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Possession of “terrorist material”

They display “Ultra-right accelerationist tendencies”, also explained the representative of Supo, Eero Pietilä. According to ultra-right experts, accelerationists hope to stir up chaos of inter-ethnic conflict to spark a great white uprising in the West. Small groups have been identified in several countries, but the movement is recent.

Finnish investigators found in their possession “Terrorist material”, which, in addition to other investigative elements, “Reinforces the impression that they have become radicalized and gives reasons to suspect them of terrorist crimes”, they also said.

The five men did not appear to be active in organized right-wing groups; conversely, they tried to remain discreet. “A small group like this, which idealizes terrorist violence, works in secret and their activity does not include links with publicly organized far-right groups”, selon M. Pietilä.

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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, his eyes hidden behind a ski mask.

A survey of several months

The investigation should last several months, the prosecution having set the deadline of March 31 to rule on 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 criminal police agency Europol was associated with the investigation.

In March, Finnish intelligence said the terrorist threat to the Nordic country of 5.5 million people was “High”, that is, the second lowest level 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 plans are rare in Finland. It was in 2018 that the accusation of “Terrorism” was first held after a failed Moroccan asylum seeker, Abderrahman Bouanane, stabbed ten people, killing two, in the southwestern city of Turku.

The World with AFP

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In Finland, five men arrested for a project of “ultra-right attack”