Police Need Machine Guns To Fight Islamic State - The Reykjavik Grapevine

Police Need Machine Guns To Fight Islamic State

Published November 28, 2014

According to Chief Superintendent Jón Bjartmarz

Haukur Már Helgason
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According to Chief Superintendent Jón Bjartmarz

The general police forces need 70 pieces of MP5 submachine guns as soon as possible, 150 soon, and at least 260 such weapons in the long term, to have the upper hand against terrorism, says Jón Bjartmarz, Chief Superintendent at the High Commissioner of the Icelandic Police. Interviewed by RÚV, Jón explained the immediate goal as having “two machine guns at each station house, and there are 35 of those.”

One of the threats that Jón cites as a reason for acquiring the artillery is the Islamic State (IS). Jón says that IS is not simply a threat from outside, but that the group might recruit local youths online: “It’s not that terrorists are coming from somewhere else, the ISIS-organization in fact uses the web for massive propaganda and to recruit citizens, followers of the organization, to wreak havoc in their own country,” Jón said, interviewed by RÚV.

Jón was asked back if the police were aware of any ISIS followers in Iceland. “Well, you could say that we perhaps know less than other countries, we do not have a secret service, and we do not have the manpower to seriously conduct such surveillance, but we know, of course, what is happening in the countries of Europe and our neighboring States. We simply see on the news what’s happening in Norway, and all European nations have labelled this threat as the most severe threat they face today.”

Asked whether the police then suspected that ISIS had any followers in Iceland, the superintendent remained equivocal but claimed that it would be “absolutely irresponsible of the police not to make any preparations to be able to deal with such things.”

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