Police Security Service director Benedicte Bjørnland believes that Russia and China espionage services pose the greatest danger to Norway. “The two states which Norway has no security policy cooperation with, and that also have the largest intelligence capacity by far, are Russia and China. Of these, we consider Russian intelligence to possess the greatest potential for damaging Norwegian interests.
The most serious intelligence activities in 2015 will be directed against Norway’s ability to protect the country and political decision-making,” she says.
Ms Bjørnland makes her comments in the PST’s Annual Threat Assessment release. Security personnel say they expect the negative threat situation to continue this year.
Iran is expected to continue to be “the main player behind illegal procurement activities to support the production of weapons of mass destruction,” says the PST’s Benedicte Bjørnland.
The director also views Islamist extremism as a threat, both at home and abroad.
“There are active extreme Islamist groups in Norway that attract new followers and recruit foreign fighters. Norway is an enemy for several of these. Norwegian military participation against ISIL and al-Qaeda (AQ) will help to reinforce this enemy image,” Ms Bjørnland comments.
“People inside and outside the known extreme Islamist groups as well as many without foreign war experience sympathise with ISIL and AQ. Calls by ISIL and AQ for retaliation and terrorist incidents in Western countries could influence individuals to carry out acts of violence in Norway.”
“Increased activity in certain local Extreme-Right groups is expected. This is mainly due the influence of Right-Wing extremists abroad. Preventive countermeasures by police and other local stakeholders are essential to prevent the emergence of large organised milieus,” states Ms Bjørnland.