WikiLeaked

Safe in Scandinavia?

In November 2008, U.S. officials approached the Swedish government with a proposal for more rigorous data sharing on suspected terrorist threats. They were brushed aside by their Swedish counterparts, who believed that current "informal arrangements" worked perfectly well — and submitted to the Swedish Parliament, which had recently raised some pesky concerns about civil liberties ...

/AFP/Getty Images
/AFP/Getty Images

In November 2008, U.S. officials approached the Swedish government with a proposal for more rigorous data sharing on suspected terrorist threats. They were brushed aside by their Swedish counterparts, who believed that current "informal arrangements" worked perfectly well — and submitted to the Swedish Parliament, which had recently raised some pesky concerns about civil liberties related to surveillance agreements, for approval.

"[T]here is a very clear GOS belief that Sweden is not likely to be a direct target for terrorists and therefore has little to gain" from a formalized agreement, the U.S. diplomats reported.

Oops. In light of the terrorist attack that struck the center of Stockholm on Saturday night, killing one person and wounding two others, the Swedish government might want to rethink its cheery confidence in the status quo.

David Kenner is the Middle East editor at Foreign Policy. He is based in Beirut, Lebanon, and has been with FP since 2009 (a long time, he knows). He worked for FP previously in Cairo, where he covered the early days of the Arab Spring, and before that in Washington. He has attended Georgetown University and the American University of Beirut and has reported from Libya, Egypt, Gaza, Turkey, Lebanon, and Iraq. @davidkenner

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