The assumption of knowing

It all started yesterday, the NOS notified us via ‘8 wounded by optional terror attack Sweden’. The stage was less clear through two parts. The first that this was not a big city, it was Vestlanda, which is in the South of Sweden, basically a village with less than 15,000 people. About an hour ago the BBC gives us ‘Sweden attack: Man injures seven in stabbing attack’, a very different headline. Two different headlines, but neither is wrong. The BBC also gives us (as did the NOS) “Police are treating the case as attempted murder but also investigating the possibility of terror motives” as such SAPO is on the case. The Swedish Security Services (formerly known as Säkerhetspolisen, or SAPO), it is at present under the leading and watchful eyes of Klas Friberg (aka Big Boss). We are told “Initially, detectives began treating the incident as suspected terrorism, before re-classifying it as attempted murder. According to the local police chief, the suspect is a resident of the area and previously known to police but in the past he was only suspected of “petty crimes”, AFP news agency reports” (at https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-56272565) there is a need to side with caution, there is no harm in treating it as one and finding out you are wrong, it is always better than not acting and learning too late it was a a dry run. 

In Sydney (on 15–16 December 2014) a mental case called Man Haron Monis was a self pronounced ISIL operative, there was enough evidence in the early hours that this was not the case and that he was a head case, but there is nothing wrong with siding with caution, lives were on the line. In Sweden there is a different setting, optionally one that requires Swedish Intelligence to take a larger look, and it makes sense, terror has several definitions, yet the one that matters is the result when the things we hold for granted are no longer reliable and a terror attack in Vestlanda would do that in Sweden much more than in the three larger cities, in this setting dozens of smaller places would have a security issue and that worry would run over to Norway and optionally Denmark as well. Yet, it is early days and we do not know what is and what is not. And the problem is not over, actually the PM (whilst being openly honest) gives us “Prime Minister Stefan Löfven said the “horrific violence” was a reminder of “how frail our safe existence is”.” He is not wrong, but I believe him to be incorrect. The application of ‘how frail our safe existence is’ is the problem. There is no such thing s a safe existence, the fact is that Scandinavia is perhaps one of the least likely targets, as most terrorists will use bombs, they do not care about one person, they care about hundreds, Stockholm is perhaps the most likely of targets, yet it is still small compared to Munich in October, Amsterdam in April, or London and Paris most time of the year. They all have infrastructures that have too many weak spots, to many options and as such the largest part of Scandinavia (including Finland) tend to be less likely places to hit, that is beside the point that in these places tourists and foreigners shine like Christmas lights and these terrorists tend to dislike Christmas lights, a stage we all need to recognise. That does not make a person like Klas Friberg wrong. I am speculating, he needs to be certain and that is what he is doing, making sure. 

Still, the assumption is there and the truth is we really do not know at present. Even as I dug through the papers in a dozen nations, most of them are somewhere between the BBC and the Dutch NOS, merely one or two are playing the terror card, the others merely mention that it is investigated s an optional one. There is a small caution in many cases and at present there are too many unknowns. As we are told “Five different crime scenes, a few hundred metres apart, were identified, local police chief Jonas Lindell said.” We need to realise that this is not a person merely going nuts, he was seemingly on a ‘nutty’ rage trip over a distance and that calls a few things into question, optionally that this was ore than merely an attack by a head job and as such the authorities need to be certain, I get that. If Sweden gets to be lucky, the person was a head case, if that is not the case this might optionally be a lone wolf act and that is the problem, there is close to no attack against such a strategy. There are too many settings where lone wolves will achieve what they are told to do and the Swedish Security Services needs to be certain, that is clear and I hope that we can soon return to the happy view of 

Instead of

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