Psychological Defense Agency’s mandate extended


Published 31 August 2023
- By Editorial Staff
Carl-Oskar Bohlin (M), Minister of Civil Defense and Magnus Hjort, Acting Director General of the Psychological Defence Agency.

Recently, the Psychological Defence Agency in Sweden was tasked with strengthening the defense capability “to resist undue information influence directed at the Swedish social services” in the wake of widespread online allegations that Swedish social services are kidnapping immigrant children.

The mission is now being expanded to include influence campaigns related to the desecration of religious scriptures and the government wants to give the agency more money.

Being critical of sources and thinking twice about what we disseminate is something we all need to think about. Such awareness is the most important tool we have to avoid being influenced by foreign actors trying to harm Sweden and Swedish interests, said Carl-Oskar Bohlin (M), Minister for Civil Defense, at a press conference.

The background is the well-publicized Koran burnings in Sweden, which have created very strong reactions in the Muslim world and which, according to the government and the Swedish Security Service, have led to an increased threat to the country.

“Sweden is in a serious security policy situation and continues to be a target for targeted influence campaigns from, among others, foreign actors”, the government writes in a press release and points out Russia and Iran as two such actors, without going into detail on how the campaigns are orchestrated by the countries.

In addition to the additional task of combating influence campaigns related to the Koran burnings, the government proposes that the Psychological Defence Agency receive increased funding of SEK 8 million per year in the coming years.

Swedish authorities must form a united front against the information influence that is currently being directed at Sweden, Bohlin commented, claiming that it was “partly the same actors” who were behind the disinformation about Swedish social services kidnapping children who are now spreading false claims about the Koran burnings.

– One consequence is that the free formation of opinion is inhibited.