Counter-terrorism focuses on effective prevention

Counter-terrorism in Finland is a joint effort of public authorities and societal actors.

In Finland, the main responsibility for counter-terrorism lies with the police. The focus is on preventive measures, the success of which depends on broad-based cooperation between different stakeholders. The main responsibility for intelligence gathering and the monitoring and analysis of terrorism-related phenomena lies with the Finnish Security and Intelligence Service.

Responsibility for the criminal investigation of terrorist offences rests with the National Bureau of Investigation. If necessary, the Finnish Security and Intelligence Service assists the Bureau with investigations. Other authorities may also participate in criminal investigations, providing assistance to the police unit conducting the investigation in question.

The Finnish Border Guard contributes to counter-terrorism in the context of maintaining border security and by providing specialised personnel and equipment to support the police as necessary. The Finnish Defence Forces and Customs also support counter-terrorism in their respective fields.

The rescue services maintain and build on their preparedness in managing the aftermath of terrorist attacks. The role of the Finnish Immigration Service is one of prevention by means of making decisions on entry into and stay in Finland as well as permits and citizenship, verifying identity and maintaining the system of reception centres.

The Prison and Probation Service supports measures to combat violent radicalisation and terrorism by preventing recidivism and re-integrating offenders into society.

Measures to combat terrorism

In Finland, the focus in counter-terrorism is on early prevention, which refers to addressing underlying causes, motivations and other factors that may lead to violent radicalisation and ultimately even enlistment in terrorist groups.

For example, multi-professional Anchor work and the prevention of violent radicalisation are part of national counter-terrorism efforts.

The prevention of terrorist financing is an essential part of counter-terrorism. Terrorist financing means the provision or collection of funds, directly or indirectly, for terrorist activities. Financing or attempting to finance a terrorist group or an individual terrorist is punishable. A key player in preventing financing is the Financial Intelligence Unit, which is attached to the National Bureau of Investigation.

The enforcement of criminal liability in terrorist offences requires up-to-date and sufficiently comprehensive criminal legislation. In Finland, terrorist offences are covered in chapter 34a of the Criminal Code. In accordance with the Government Programme, the Ministry of Justice has appointed a working group to reform the legislation on terrorist offences.