The Finnish Security Police (Supo) expressed general worries about the growing number of jihadists returning from conflict zones in Syria and Iraq, identifying them as a major potential threat to Finnish security. According to Pelttari, Supo is currently keeping an eye on over 300 people, suspected of having jihadi connections. Underground Salafist groups, which now reportedly operate in Finland, are another headache for the Nordic country.
"Previously, there were about 200, but today the figure is over 300 suspects in Finland," Pelttari told Yle, confirming evidence that some of them actually reached high positions in Daesh.
"Over half of jihadists have lived all their lives in Finland and have become radicalized here. The departees are in fact a divided crowd. Some of them have indeed been under scrutiny for a long time, but there are also young people who suddenly became radicalized through online contacts. There is no single explanation for why it has become so," Pelttari told Hufvudstadsbladet.
Supo and the Interior Minister are currently pushing for changes in legislation to make it possible to monitor data traffic to and from Finland if one of the parties has Daesh affiliation.
According to Pelttari, a total of 20 jihadists have reportedly returned to Finland. Despite the growing number of returnees, Pelttari sees no reason to change the current security assessment, according to which there is a heightened risk of individual acts of terrorism in Finland, however Finland in general is not a primary objective of the terrorist organizations.