Sweden is one of the richest and most respected nations in the world, consistently ranking highly in all sorts of national-performance metrics – quality of life, health, education, and so on. It’s small population of less than 10 million is responsible for punching above its weight, producing such economic giants as Volvo, Ericsson, Electrolux, SAAB, etc.
So of Sweden’s security service, Sapo, we would expect nothing less than the overachieving competence the Swedes have become known for.
The following article, entitled “Russian spies pose as diplomats in Sweden”, displays Sapo’s sharp sense of smell:
Säpo, which last year concluded that the biggest intelligence threat against Sweden came from Russia, has once again detailed how its eastern neighbour is using a range of aggressive tactics designed to rattle residents.
The security service’s report, first seen and reported on by Swedish newspaper Dagens Nyheter, argues that Russia is carrying out various forms of psychological warfare via “extreme movements, information operations and misinformation campaigns” designed to target both policy makers and the general public.
It also states that around a dozen diplomats are operating as spies and confirms that some Russian embassy staff were asked to leave Stockholm in 2015, amid an uptick in tensions between the two countries, as The Local reported in September.
Other spies are understood by Säpo to be working for airlines and businesses operating in Sweden.
“We see intelligence activities in all these different areas. In the political, economic, military, and so on. The overall picture is very disturbing,” says Wilhelm Unge, one of the counterespionage researchers who worked on the report.
Who would have thunk? Spies not only existing in the first place, but posing as diplomats and businessmen – even airline staff! In this day and age, only Putin’s Russia could be capable of stooping to such levels of devious skullduggery.
But with Sapo, Swedes may sleep soundly at night.