A Swedish terrorism expert who had sharp criticism for Norway’s handling of a recent threat had a more positive take on the Danish approach.
Magnus Ranstorp, a terrorism expert at the Swedish National Defence College, told The Local that Norway’s response to reports of an imminent terror attack “created unnecessary anxiety in Norway”.
“There are some critical questions we don’t know the answer to," Ranstorp said. "How close was the threat, was it an inevitable trajectory, and how much of it could they control? And we don’t know any of that because the story keeps on changing."
A former director of the Danish Security and Intelligence Service (Politiets Efterretningstjeneste – PET) has also criticised Norway's handling of the terror threat.
"Threats are a reality in any Western intelligence service, and the intelligence agencies should take the responsibility for handling them. In this case, a decision was made to burden citizens with the worries," Hans Jørgen Bonnichsen told Berlingske.
Ranstorp said that both Sweden and Denmark have gone public about terror threats before, but generally only once the threat is under control and the suspect has been clearly identified.
Ranstorp went on to say that Denmark “plays an offensive game” when it comes to terrorist threats.
“Denmark has a very open intelligence service, but it’s also one of the more offensive – it takes a very offensive posture, it goes after threats with a great operational pace, both inside and outside of Denmark,” he said.
Ranstorp added that PET has a proactive media approach.
“They regularly publish trend reports on what has gone on in the terrorism world, and they sometimes call journalists for contextual briefings, and then a couple of days later they pounce on a suspect they have had under surveillance,” he said.
On Monday evening, Norwegian intelligence authorities announced that they would be lowering the threat level on Tuesday another step – but that the nation is still armed and prepared for an attack.