|Militant Islamists still major threat to Norway|
| [06.03.2012, 09:53am, Tue. GMT]|
|Militant Islamists are still Norway’s biggest threat, but computer hacking can soon be compared to traditional warfare, says the Norwegian Intelligence Service. The Norwegian Intelligence Service (E-tjenesten) delivered their threat assessment to Defense Minister Espen Barth Eide on Monday. The report was not graded, just as last year’s, and is supposed to reflect a trend of more openness, according to the head of the intelligence service, Kjell Grandhagen. "We are still forced to keep some information confidential, but this is supposed to contribute to de-mystifying the intelligence-term’s concept," Grandhagen explains.Furthermore, the report presents and defines the estimated threats posed worldwide, and which countries the intelligence services will pay particular attention to.|
According to Grandhagen, militant Islamists still pose the most concrete threat to Norway. This threat also includes people in Norway that have connections to well-known Islamist groups abroad.
Afghanistan is also a big focus of the report, especially areas where Norwegian soldiers are stationed, as well as local and national politics.
"We see the time period leading up to 2014 to be very critical," Grandhagen explains. We will follow the political development, the transmission of responsibility to the Afghan government, and regional players that have a significant influence, he says."
Cyber attacks are also on the intelligence services’ radar. There is a wide spectrum of threats – everything from kids playing around on their computer at home, to larger threats where foreign governmental intelligence services may be involved.
"The attacks could be espionage targeted against our political system, military defense, telecom, power supplies, economy and industrial base," Grandhagen tells NRK.
When the attacks come from governmental parties, their resources and skills can be much, much greater. "This is becoming an area for conflicts that to a large degree can be compared to air strikes and ground attacks," Grandhagen points out.