US ran 'secret terror hunt' in Sweden: report
2011-05-25 0:00

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

Dead LA man who had 1,200 guns, underwater car identified; believed to be 'part alien' secret government worker
2015-07-27 23:42
The mystery behind a Los Angeles gun fanatic found decomposing in a car last week has deepened as his fiancée's family said he was an alien-hybrid secretly working for the government. The bizarre statement came Wednesday as the betrothed woman's lawyer identified the dead man as Jeffrey Alan Lash — almost one week after he was discovered rotting in his car ...
Britain Under Siege: Hundreds of Illegals Storm Eurotunnel Every Night
2015-07-27 22:45
The volume of illegals trying to gain access to the United Kingdom via the railway tunnel beneath the English Channel is now so great, hundreds storm the French terminal every night. Hoping to stow away on-board lorries or to ‘train surf’ to England, the migrants – of which there are an estimated 5,000 in the town of Calais at any one ...
Detroit's black rape gangs target couples
2015-07-27 22:53
Victims forced into alleys, men made to watch sex assault on female companions In a developing story, a gang of rapists in Detroit is terrorizing citizens in the crime-ridden city. Detroit police are looking for as many as six suspects after two rape and robbery incidents occurred on Thursday night within hours of each other. The same group may be responsible ...
Satanic statue unveiled in Detroit
2015-07-27 21:13
Christians protest after the Satanic Temple unveils bronze Baphomet statue featuring a human body, goat’s head and wings. Several hundred people have attended a Mass at a US Catholic church to protest against an eight and a half-foot (2.6-metre)-tall bronze statue of Satan that hundreds of people also lined up to see. The Satanic Temple had said it would unveil the ...
India's prime minister endorses call for Britain to pay reparations for colonial rule
2015-07-27 21:34
Narendra Modi supports impassioned Shashi Tharoor’s call for colonial ruler Britain to make reparations to India India’s prime minister has praised an opposition MP who made an impassioned appeal for Britain to pay reparations for 200 years of colonial rule. Narendra Modi said Shashi Tharoor’s speech at the Oxford Union, which was posted online last week, “reflected the feelings of patriotic ...
More News »