When Sweden’s government was led by ex-Prime Minister Goran Persson, it was apparently aware that the United States was using the country as a transit point for secret CIA flights carrying suspected terrorists. The US denied the clandestine flights at the time, but a report issued in the Expressen newspaper reveals that Swedish defence forces ran covert surveillance in 2005 of a US military plane at Stockholm’s Arlanda Airport.
The Swedish surveillance team confirmed government suspicions that the CIA was actually using its rendition flights to force prisoners out of America against their will. The report states that the CIA plane they monitored was filled with prisoners chained and cloaked in black hoods.
If there was any question as to the veracity of these claims, the Swedish defence department confirmed to the Expressen that the operation did in fact take place as described. The findings of the operation were reported back to the defence department, which was headed at the time by Leni Bjorklund.
The Swedish government, however, failed to lodge any formal or official complaint to the US authorities. The Local reports that Sweden’s foreign minister in 2006, Laila Freivalds, stated to the TT news agency that the government was not aware of any illegal CIA activity on Swedish territory. But it would appear, now, that this was not the case.