Three Norwegian intelligence and security institutions have for the first time published an open common threat evaluation.
Espionage did not disappear with the cold war. There is a continuing high level of activity by foreign intelligence services in Norway, the latest threat evaluation shows. Terrorism is still the biggest threat to the national security.
The Norwegian Police Security Service (PST), the Intelligence Service and the National Security Authority (NSM) have for the first time prepared a common, open threat evaluation. The evaluation was presented on Monday by Minister of Justice Grete Faremo, Minister of Defense Anne-Grete Strøm-Erichsen and head of PST Benedicte Bjørnland.
“We are not facing one uniform threat – the picture is complex and complicated”, Faremo said at a press conference on Monday. “That is why this document contains the three institutions’ evaluations of threats from international terrorism, political motivated violence, right-wing extremism, anti-islamic and left-wing communities, proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, intelligence activities and cyberspace”.
Several foreign governments are actively and continuously spying on Norway and Norwegian interests. Their spying is directed at many targets, especially within defense, security and preparedness but also business and politics.
“The geopolitical development and an increasingly harder global competition to ensure economic growth are among the forces behind the activity of these [foreign intelligence] services in our country”, the evaluation reads. The document does not name any specific countries that are involved in spying against Norway.
The intelligence services use all kinds of human and technological collection. They employ agents, recruited persons or persons employed in public or private sectors. Several foreign intelligence services have capacity for bugging and even network attacks, the document reads.
Anti-terror center to be established The “terror challenge” has risen in Norway, with persons and organizations inspired by “extremist Islamic ideology” comprising the most serious threat in 2013. Other extremists on both the right and the left are also a major concern, the threat evaluation states. This has prompted the government to set up an anti-terror center led by PST.
The center will be manned by people from PST and the Intelligence Service, and the aim is to make the most of the two institutions’ total analytic capacities by are working together under one roof, the Ministry of Justice’s web site reads. The new anti-terror center will be in place by the end of the year.
PST, NSM and the Intelligency Service will continue to publish open threat evaluations annually.
Russia plans to resume testing of the submarine-launched ballistic missile Bulava this summer. The country’s two newest strategic nuclear-powered submarines will start trials as soon as the ice conditions in the White Sea will allow.
MURMANSK: Ecological groups gathered on Kola Peninsula fear that Barents nature will be the looser after Oslo decided to call off the environmental minister’s Moscow meeting in response to Russia’s annexation of Crimea.
TROMSØ: Since the first five specimens of snow crab were found in the Barents Sea in 1996, the population has exploded. There is now ten times as much snow crab than king crab in the area, and scientists are just starting to find out how this new species has adopted to life in the Barents Sea.
More than 900 reindeer die of hunger on the Russian Arctic island of Kolguyev following a critical lack of available local pasturelands. The reindeer stocks in the area are too badly managed, regional authorities admit.
The current situation in Ukraine makes cross-border cooperation with the neighboring countries even more important, Barents Secretariat leader Rune Rafaelsen says. At the same time, Norway has joined NATO’s condemnation of Russia’s military escalation on the Crimea peninsula.
Board member Amund Trellevik in the press network fears entry-denial of Kremlin’s controversial propaganda-journalist Dmitry Kiselyov could be retaliated by refusing Norwegian journalists access to Russia.