US ran 'secret terror hunt' in Sweden: report
2011 05 25

From: thelocal.se


US intelligence agents have staked out suspected "terrorists" in Sweden, without the authorisation of the government there, the online edition of a Swedish daily reported Sunday.

Sweden's intelligence service Säpo discovered in 2009 that two Americans were conducting illegal, under-cover investigations in Sweden, the Svenska Dagbladet (SvD) daily reported.

The two men were discovered when Säpo noticed them tracking people who it was also investigating for suspected ties to terrorist groups, the paper said, quoting several unnamed sources close to Säpo.

Washington had not informed Swedish authorities of the agents' activities in the country, and soon after their activities were discovered, the two US citizens left the country, the paper added.

Referring to Washington's failure to inform Pakistan before it tracked and killed Osama bin Laden three weeks ago, Svenska Dagladet insisted "the US has also carried out intelligence against terrorists on Swedish territory.

"Sweden has thus become the scene of a foreign power's terror hunt without the knowledge of the Swedish government," it said.

Säpo could not be reached late Sunday. Head of the agency Anders Danielsson refused to comment when confronted by the paper.

Following the report, US embassy spokesperson Christopher Dunnett stressed the importance of cooperation between the United States and Sweden.

"We have excellent cooperation with Swedish authorities in a several areas, including anti-terror activities," he told the TT news agency on Monday morning.

He refused to elaborate, however, on the allegations of unauthorised spying.

"We don't comment on security issues in detail," he said.

Neither justice minister Beatrice Ask nor foreign minister Carl Bildt were willing to comment on the matter Sunday night.

Speaking on Monday, prime minister Fredrik Reinfeldt said he wasn't aware of the details surrounding the US agents' alleged activities in Sweden.

"I don't want to speculate on information in the media because we have very independent agencies in Sweden which operate in their respective areas of responsibility," he told TT.

"I want to note that in this case the responsible agency hasn't confirmed or denied (the report)."

Reinfeldt didn't expect to pursue the matter further and emphasised that Sweden has a solid and close cooperation with the United States.

If the report about the unauthorised US spying is true, it amounts to a serious allegation, according intelligence expert professor Wilhelm Agrell.

"There's no support for this in international law. What's problematic is running an operation like this without going through the Swedish authorities," he told the TT news agency.

According to Agrell, it's more common for "less friendly states" to carry out unauthorised intelligence activities against exile groups, for example.

At the same time, he's not surprised that the United States would do the same thing.

"It's been common practice for the Americans since September 11th, 2001 to carry out operations both with and without consent from the country where the operation takes place," he said.

Legal scholar Dennis Töllborg said it was "incredibly strange" that the CIA reportedly chose not to follow normal procedures by allowing Säpo to conduct surveillance on the suspected terrorists.

However, he doesn't think that the CIA's alleged decision to go behind Säpo's back indicates that the US spy agency lacks confidence in agents from its Swedish counterpart.

"I believe more that after 9/11, the CIA has given itself rights which don't have any limits at all, here and everywhere," he told TT.

Töllborg added that he doubts the incident has damaged CIA-Säpo relations, but more that it amounts to an embarrassment for the Americans.

The new revelations cover operations different from the US embassy's Surveillance Detection Unit (SDU) which was the focus of an investigation by Sweden's top prosecutor after reports surfaced in the media suggesting that the unit may have engaged in unlawful intelligence gathering.

However, prosecutor Tomas Lindstrand dropped the probe in early April because he was unable to gather sufficient evidence to substantiate the allegations.

Source: thelocal.se



Related Articles


Latest News from our Front Page

Gov’t Fear Factory: ISIS Is Here, Just in Time for Another 9/11 Anniversary
2014 08 23
The government has been doing a whole lot of talking lately about the 9/11-style threat ISIS poses on American soil, how ISIS is like ’nothing the Pentagon has ever seen’ and how ISIS is likely already here... and all just in time right before another 9/11 anniversary! Fancy that. Considering it’s on record where ISIS got a lot of its military ...
France delivered arms to Syrian rebels, Hollande confirms
2014 08 22
President Francois Hollande said on Thursday that France had delivered weapons to rebels battling the Syrian regime of Bashar al-Assad “a few months ago.” The deliveries took place “a few months ago, when the Syrian rebels had to face both the armies of the dictator Bashar al-Assad and this terrorist group Islamic State,” Hollande told reporters on a tour of the ...
Brooklyn DA exposes hidden Child Sexual Abuse in the Orthodox Jewish Community
2014 08 22
Comment: We all know that the sex abuse cases within the Catholic church have been plastered all over the media in the last 6-8 years, but when do you ever hear about the rapes, sexual molestation and child sex abuse cases within the jewish orthodox community? Is the media helping to cover it? Will they give the same treatment of ...
California’s Economic Collision Course: Immigration and Water
2014 08 22
You have heard it before: “As California goes, so goes the nation.” If that is the case, the national economy will be harmed for decades to come because of California’s misplaced priorities today. Indeed, by emphasizing high-speed rail over water and failing to deal with its debt crisis, California poses a long-term threat to our national economy and ...
ISIS offered to swap Foley for ’Lady Al Qaeda’ - neuroscientist MIT-graduate
2014 08 21
An MIT-educated neuroscientist terrorist known as ’Lady al Qaeda’ was named on a ’laundry list’ of demands from ISIS captors holding James Foley named, it was revealed today. Petite mother-of-three Aafia Siddiqui is currently serving 86 years in a Texas jail after being arrested with plans for a ’mass casualty attack’ in the US, including infecting people with Ebola and a ...
More News »