Potential terrorists ‘living in Helsinki’

Most of Finland’s potential terrorists live in the Helsinki Metropolitan Area, according to police. Authorities claim that while the terrorist threat in the country continues to be low, several dozen extremists have been found to have links to al-Qaida.

The number of possible terrorists is believed to have grown in recent years, while police surveillance has also been stepped up. According to Inspector Seppo Ruotsalainen of the National Police Board, it is not clear whether the increase in the amount of people coming to their attention is because of an actual rise in extremism or a better system of information gathering. “At this stage, it is difficult to say,” he told YLE.

Tablighi Jamaat is an active organisation in Finland with known links to al-Qaida, but the authorities have declined to specify exactly which foreign organisation are known to house radicals. Police did disclose however that while no terrorist training is thought to take place in Finland, many people are recruited from the country to attend training camps abroad.

As well as being home to the majority of the people picked out by police as budding terrorists, Helsinki is also said to be the most likely place for an attack. Plots from across the European Union have been aimed almost exclusively at major or capital cities. According to Inspector Ruotsalanien, this is because of a greater potential for civilian casualties and the promise of increased publicity.