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Ministry report warns of neo-Nazi and religious radicalisation

Finland's Interior Ministry has released a report saying that extremist-inspired violence is local and isolated, and that the risk of broad-based violence is low. The findings come from the Ministry's first ever review of extremism and violence in Finland.

Researchers reviewed extreme right, extreme left and radical Islamist movements. They found that the risk of violence related to extreme Islam is minimal.

The report does mention by name the extreme right-wing national socialist group Suomen Vastarintaliike (SVL).

The report describes SVL as "a small group,  whose ideology will hardly gain wide support in Finland.” However, it is considered as potentially dangerous because its members are organised, it is anti-democracy and has a combative spirit.
Risk of immigrant radicalisation  

The Interior ministry report warns that a committed and disciplined group of extremists could pose a significant security risk both at a local level and to society as a whole.

However, the report found the risk of violence related to radical Islam to be minimal in Finland.  The Ministry of Interior is nonetheless concerned about the radicalisation of second- and third-generation immigrants.

Problems arise if the young become marginalised from Finnish society but no longer feel a part of their parents' culture.

In such cases, neither education nor employment eliminate the possibility of radicalisation, the report concludes.

"International experience shows that the alienation of immigrants from an Islamic background increases the risk that individuals may subscribe to a violent religious worldview," the report notes.

No evidence of extreme left-wing violence has been detected, the report adds. Gate crashing at official events has diminished while animal and environmental activism has become more moderate.

Officials have, though, clearly identified certain isolated individuals who show a readiness to commit violent acts. The internet is considered a major vehicle for fanning the flames of extremist rhetoric.

Credit: Yle

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