Sweden to tighten terror laws, nevertheless on high alert

STOCKHOLM Sweden said on Thursday it would tighten its terror laws to make it illegal to travel abroad to fight and stamp down passport abuse in the wake of the recent attacks in Paris and a heightened level of security in the Nordic country.

The measures have been agreed between the minority Social Democrat-led government and the opposition, with the exception of the Left Party and the anti-immigration Sweden Democrats.

“In a time of concern and terror, it is even far more critical that Sweden can show a broad unity more than measures to ensure order, security and security against the threat of terrorism,” Property Affairs Minister Anders Ygeman told a news conference.

Security police (SAPO) stated earlier this year about 300 Swedes had traveled to Syria and Iraq to fight in groups linked to al Qaeda or Islamic State, of whom around 35 had been killed. About 80 had returned to Sweden.

Measures contain creating it a criminal offense to organize, recruit and finance travel with the goal of fighting abroad.

The government will tighten guidelines on Swedish passports right after reports of widespread abuse of supposedly “lost” ID. Citizens will be limited to 3 passports each and every 5 years and rules over short-term passports will be tightened. Kids will be forced to get new passports more often.

Sweden will also look at expanding powers of data surveillance and techniques to boost cooperation amongst authorities such as the police and the Swedish Tax Agency to uncover terrorist financing.

Most of the new measures had been outlined currently in August.

The country remains at the next highest level of national alert soon after what police mentioned was a credible threat of an attack in November.

(Reporting by Simon Johnson editing by Niklas Pollard)

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