Counter extremism

PST shall prevent and counteract politically motivated violence from individuals or groups. The work to hinder recruitment is particularly important, as well as preventing the implementation of violent campaigns. PST is to maintain a good overview of far-right and other extremist environments and of individuals who may be capable of using violence as a means to achieve their goals.

Counter Extremism

Far-right extremism

The level of activity in the far-right extremist environments in Norway has been low in 2009. The far-right extremist groups are small and poorly organised and lack strong leaders. The most violent far-right extremists in Norway are currently not affiliated to any particular organisation but operate in independent groups with no clear leadership or structure. Comradeship, social events and a strong hostility to immigration and the present regime in this country appear to form the bond between the groups.

Violent crime from individuals with an affiliation to far-right extremist environments is not usually planned. Individuals who are attacked are often those who incite fundamental hostility in far-right extremists, such as immigrants, the police and autonomous far-left extremist players. The Internet has been the most important tool for the work of these environments, and it is here that most of the contact and the exchange of ideological opinions take place. The Internet is also the main channel for recruiting new members and for spreading far-right extremist propaganda. The activity on the net has increased in recent years, a trend that will most likely continue.

Viewing past activity in the far-right extremist groups in Norway in a twenty-year perspective reveals that societal fluctuations – for example a high rate of unemployment and a low trade cycle – may have led to greater activity in these environments. The financial crisis and the rising unemployment in Norway throughout 2009 should in historical terms therefore have contributed to a higher level of activity and recruitment in the far-right extremist environments, but so far this does not appear to be the case in this country.

Violent autonomous extremism

In general it can be said that the activity in the violent autonomous environment has been low. It was anticipated that activists from this environment would take action against extreme right-wing parties in connection with the parliamentary election in autumn 2009. However, apart from a single incident during a school debate, no criminal activity was recorded from these violent autonomous groups. Nevertheless, it can be seen that this environment is mobilised in pact with the visibility of the far-right extremist environment, and greater activity in the latter will lead to a higher level of conflict between these two violent groups.

[1] Autonomous: far-left extreme players, i.e. violent individuals and groups that uphold viewpoints inspired by anarchical, anti-racist and/or anti-capitalistic ideologies.