THIS STORY WAS UPDATED
The main agents of ideological violence are not isolated “lone wolves” but are usually interconnected with communities, non-violent agents and legal entities, at times even including connections to law enforcement personnel.
Five white Finns were detained Tuesday and remanded by a Satakunta District Court Friday, at the request of the police, on suspicion of terrorist offenses, according to a statement by the Southwestern Finland Police.
The police said that this far-right suspected terror offense is the first in Finland.
“We have found in their possession terrorist material which, when examined in conjunction with other criminal investigation material, reinforces the impression that they have become radicalized and gives reason to suspect them of terrorist offenses,” said Detective Superintendent Toni Sjöblom, head of the investigation.
While the detention of this group is good news and no longer poses a threat, the interesting question is to see the reaction.
If the suspects were Muslims, Finland would have a serious knee-jerk reaction from Islamophobic parties like the Perussuomalaiset (PS)*, National Coalition Party (Kokoomus), and others to draft tighter terrorist laws and more surveillance powers to the police.
The silence from the PS, which has links to far-right groups, does not surprise me.
One of the most bizarre reactions to the news was by former PS Chairperson Jussi Halla-aho, who wanted to offer some lessons on eugenics pseudoscience.
Initially, the media disclosed the ethnic identity of the suspects as people with “ethnic Finnish” surnames. Halla-aho claims that such classifications should not be used in 2021. He asks the Helsingin Sanomat, Finland’s biggest daily who is an “ethnic Finn” and what are “ethnic Finnish names?”
Few believe that this will be the last far-right terrorist group to pose a threat to our way of life. Examples of groups fueling the growth and spread of such an ideology are the PS, Suomen Sisu, Ylilauta, and a list of others.
Probably the worst spreader is our complacent attitude to far-right ideology and violence by white Finns and our suspicion and hatred of groups like Muslims.