After a variety of Nordic media sources associated 39-year-old Uzbek Rakhmat Akilov with Islamist circles, including Daesh (ISIS/ISIL), and the truck attack in Stockholm was linked to the growing trend of Islamist violence.
Terror researcher Petter Nesser at the Norwegian Defense Research Establishment (FFI) expects the negative trend to worsen. According to Nesser, arrests of key people naturally weaken Islamists' capacity for attack. It is nevertheless important, however, to remember that European jihadism is interconnected via a cross-border network, which leaves no single country immune to the threat of terrorism.
"There is nothing in the material we are looking at that indicates that the threat will diminish," Petter Nesser told the Norwegian newspaper Klassekampen.
According to Petter Nesser, a typical Islamist recruiter is an influential veteran with combat experience from war zones, which is an important reason for the elevated terrorist threat.
"With Daesh coming under growing pressure, like we see today, we expect an increase in simple attacks carried out by individuals, but who also happen to have some sort of connection with organized groups and networks," Petter Nesser told the Norwegian newspaper Klassekampen.
"Checking organized communities in Norway is important, but it provides no guarantee against attack because they also have links with networks in other countries," Petter Nesser said.
PST's threat assessment for 2017 lists Islamist extremism as the greatest threat facing Norway in the coming year. At the same time, jihadi recruitment was reported to be declining, partly because several key leaders of the Islamist environment are currently being prosecuted.
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