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Finnish police to boost web surveillance following Norway attacks

Finnish police have announced that they will monitor the internet more rigorously for evidence of extremist plots following last week’s twin massacres in neighbouring Norway.

Deputy police commissioner Robin Lardot said his forces will play closer attention to fragmented pieces of information — known as “weak signals” — in case they connect to a credible terrorist threat.

The concept of weak signals is lifted from the world of corporate Strategic Early Warning Systems. The weak signals are anything discontinuous, or new, within the structure of a system.

Lardot told public YLE radio that Finnish police previously enhanced their online surveillance after a 22 year old student gunned down 10 people at a vocational school in the central town of Kauhajoki in September 2008.

The gunman in the Kauhajoki shooting, who also killed himself, had dropped hints about his plans before carrying out the attack, as in the Norwegian case, Lardot said.

As a result of these hints, the strongest of which was a video posted online a week before the shooting, police had interviewed the gunman. They had decided, however, that they did not have sufficient evidence to revoke his temporary gun license.

In both cases “the perpetrators had a need to say that they were preparing something like this,” Lardot added.

Anders Behring Breivik, who has claimed responsibility for the Friday attacks in Norway that killed at least 76, was a member of a Swedish neo-Nazi Internet forum, according to Stockholm-based Expo foundation, which monitors far-right web activity.

Behring Breivik had also posted a 1 500 page manifesto online prior carrying out the massive car bomb and subsequent mass shooting that killed 76 people.–AFP with Staff Reporting