Migrants

Alt-Info and Jihad Watch Distort Words of the Head of Swedish Security Service

5 March, 2018

On February 25, an ultra-nationalist website Alt-Info released an article titled “Swedish Security Service: Number of jihadi Islamists has gone from hundreds to thousands in just a few years.” The article reads that according to Sweden’s Security Service, number of jihadi Islamists has increased from hundreds to thousands in the country over the past years and the greatest threat of attacks in Sweden comes just from violent Islamist groups.

Alt-Info refers to Jihad Watch, an Islamophobic blog, as its  source. The  article released by Jihad Watch on February 18 with the title (Swedish Security Service: Number of jihadis has gone from hundreds to thousands in just a few years) almost similar to that of Alt-Info reads that the main reason behind the growth of number of people in so-called extremist environments is the immigration policies that the Swedish government is pursuing indefatigably, even at the expense of the safety and security of Swedish citizens and these policies will not be scrapped because that would be “Islamophobic.” Jihad Watch refers to Sweden’s Security Policy Yearbook 2017, in which the Head of the Security Service speaks about the threats and challenges facing the country.

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The titles provided by Alt-Info and Jihad Watch are manipulative and misleading. Anders Thornberg does not say that the number of “jihadi Islamists” has gone from hundreds to thousands. He speaks about the growing number of individuals belonging to violent extremist circles, focusing on violence-promoting Islamists and violent activities in extreme right-wing environment. It should be noted that a term “jihadi Islamist” is not used either in Anders Thornberg’s comments, or in the Security Service’s  press release.

Real Facts

Sweden’s Security Policy  Yearbook 2017 involves the comments by Anders Thornberg, the head of Sweden’s Security Service, where he notes that the extremist environments in Sweden are growing, and their growth is a reason for concern. He also claims that the main threat is posed by violence-promoting Islamist extremists and focuses on growing threat of extreme right-wing extremism linked to serious violent crimes. These particular views are completely neglected in the articles released by Alt-Info and Jihad Watch, which only focus on radical Islamists.

Reflections by the Head of the Security Service from Security Policy Yearbook 2017

The version by Alt-Info and Jihad Watch

In just a few years, the number of individuals belonging to violent extremist circles has increased from hundreds to thousands. At present, the main threat is posed by violence-promoting Islamist extremists. However, in the past year we have noted a significant increase in activities engaged in by the extreme right-wing environment. Some individuals belonging this environment are also active in serious violent crime.”

According to Sweden’s Security Service, number of jihadi Islamists has gone from hundreds to thousands in just a few years and the greatest threat of attacks in Sweden comes from violent Islamist groups.”

This is not the first case when Alt-Info tries to disseminate misleading  reports about a threat of extremism in Sweden. On January 7, 2018, Alt-Info released an article, quoting Anders Thornberg as saying in the interview with BBC that the country was facing an increased threat of extremism. The Georgian online edition removed this fragment of the interview from the context and said nothing about Russia’s fake news threat, which was the main topic of British BBC’s news article.

Propaganda Method

“Card stacking” – Information is partially true, but it is offered selectively. The Kremlin Propaganda typically uses this technique to guide audiences to a conclusion that fits into a pre-fabricated or false narrative


Prepared by Dali Kurdadze