My first thought. Not again. My second thpught, not France again. My second home country has been hit again. The devestating attack in Nice on last Thursday was awful and disgusting.  

A Terrorist drove through crowds celebrating Bastille Day in Nice, killing 84 people. 

There are increasing signs that the truck attack in Nice was a terrorist attack. The modus of the attack ks described in the ‘terrorist handbook’ that has been published by terrorists on Internet. 

France has been the past two years been subject to a number of major terrorist attacks with hundreds of civilian deaths jihadist groups were behind. 

This is our new reality. Our lifestyles and our open society is under attack. We live in a world where there are people that want to create chaos. They want us to be afraid, they want us to changenour way of living. 

We will not. 

I walked the street in Nice just a few days before the terrorist attack. Just like I travelled through Zaventem in Brussels just a few days before the attack there earlier this year. We are many prople in the same position, the terror is coming closer and closer to us. Terrorists want to scare us, they want us to be afraid. They want us to answer only with force – so they can mobilize their own side.

I am convinced that we need to do the opposite. We need to become more open and even better in our democracies, in living our lives the way we want it. As then Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg of Norway said after the Utöya terrorist attack; “We are still shocked by what has happened, but we will never give up our values. Our response is more democracy, more openness, and more humanity.We will answer hatred with love”.

However, we also can and will have to do more to protect ourselves. 

I believe that terrorism needs to be addressed with three different ways:

1. We need to address the roots of terrorism, which is poverty and injustice,

2. We need to increase our cooperation and coordination in pretection of the society, of the global village – and 

3. We need to be even more open, tolerant, transparent than ever before. We need to show that our way of living is the positive answer, not the problem.

In the Customs area we need to continue to develop our intelligence based risk management systems and the business partnership models through AEO concepts – to further enhance our supply chain security models. We need to do more – and we will. The risk of terrorism using the global supply chain is not acceptable and needs to be addressed with advanced systems and cooperation. 

Let us not be naive. The aim of terrorism is to terrorise. This means that there are no limits to what terrorists will do. It will continue to hit innocent people, to hit our day-to-day lives. 

Nobody is safe. Today all countries are under threat. We all need to prepare and develop our activities in this field, including my country. It is not easy to address this desease, but we have to.

Swedish Government has developed national counter-terrorism strategy that will form the basis of Sweden’s long-term work in this area, both nationally and internationally. The aim has been to create a clear structure for the work needed to combat terrorist crime. 

The strategy emphasises the importance of cooperation and clear follow-up of the work done.  If you want to read the document, click here: The Swedish Counter-Terrorism Strategy