Estonian internal security: terror threat small, but increasingly real

According to the Estonian Internal Security Service (ISS), the threat of terrorism in Estonia is currently small; however, it has become increasingly real for the country.

The ISS says in its annual review 2015 that “a terrorist act in Estonia planned, conspired and sanctioned by a terrorist organisation is considered unlikely at the moment”.

“Estonia has been mentioned in the propaganda of terrorist organisations,” the ISS says. “We therefore ask all representatives of Estonian interests and residents working in or visiting high-risk countries to be more vigilant.”

The report also says that the threat of terrorism has become “increasingly real” for Estonia.

“According to public sources, while the threat is on the same level in Latvia and Lithuania as it is in Estonia, the level was raised in 2015 in Sweden and Finland. In December, Finland’s Central Criminal Police arrested two men of Iraqi origin, suspected of war crimes in Iraq. Similar arrests were made last year in Sweden.”

What comes to the Muslim community in Estonia, the report says it continues to be “generally peaceful”, albeit there is some “internal dissatisfaction”.

“Examples of radicalisation among members of the Muslim community in Estonia are unfortunately becoming more frequent, expressed mainly through the display of terrorist organisations’ insignia,” the ISS concedes. “This assessment is justified by claims that the insignia are not connected to terrorist organisations but, rather, Islam as a religion. At the same time, such symbols are indeed mostly used by terrorist organisations and their supporters, which in turn scares people. The display of such insignia is used to test, and try to shift, the tolerance limits of society and the law-enforcement authorities.”


Cover: According to the Estonian Internal Security Service, terror threat in Estonia is small. Pictured, people going about their every-day lives at the Town Hall Square in Tallinn. Photo by Ingrid Hankewitz

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