Sweden prepared to help France / Threat level raised
Prime Minister Stefan Lofven has joined other EU ministers and representatives in unanimous support of France's request for help in their war against ISIS, declared after the terrorist attacks that killed 127 and wounded hundreds more in Paris on Friday, Nov. 13. It’s not clear what Sweden’s role will be, and unlike France, Sweden is not at war. "But now we have an EU cooperation to combat terrorism in general," said Löfven.

Defense Minister Peter Hultqvist (S) has been in Brussels at the meeting of defense ministers. "France is a country with significant resources of its own. But other contributing countries will be linked into the big picture, for maximum efficiency," he said.

The notion of Sweden participating with air power isn’t off the table; many countries have a large number of aircraft. "But there may be other types of needs we can meet. We may consider it when there is a concrete request from France," Hultqvist said. An appearance of rushing into a military conflict isn’t necessarily wanted, though an effort to continue training and expand cooperation with French police and security police is warranted.


So far the acts of terrorism in France haven’t revealed any connections to Sweden, but "the security situation in Sweden since 2010 has been in an elevated position, meaning an attack similar to the one that took place in France can take place in Sweden," said Interior Minister Anders Ygeman. It is the responsibility of the Swedish Security Service (Säpo) to assess the risk of terrorism; on Nov. 18, Säpo raised the threat level one step from elevated ( 3 ) to high ( 4 ) on their five-point scale.