Here are the activists behind the Swedish Security Service mapping of dissidents

  • A report from the Swedish Security Service and the Swedish Defence Research Agency (FOI) brands a long list of opposition figures in Sweden.
  • Independent media, bloggers, and artists are harshly labeled as "anti-democratic extremists".
  • Behind the report are three politically driven activists with a history of mapping dissenters in Sweden.
publicerad 5 december 2023
- av Isac Boman
The three activists from left to right: Anna Lioufas, Hannah Pollack Sarnecki, and Mathilde Jarlsbo.

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The “report” titled Rotten Democracy – Conspiracy Propaganda, Racism and Violence is produced by the Swedish Defence Research Agency (FOI) on behalf of the Swedish Security Service (Säpo). The report labels nearly all organizations, networks, and a large number of private individuals who question official narratives in Sweden as “anti-democratic extremists”.

An examination shows that all three authors of the report are driven political activists with a history of casting suspicion on system critics in Sweden. Their activism primarily focuses on portraying peaceful and traditionally legitimate forms of democratic social criticism as serious societal threats and politically “far-right”.

Hannah Pollack Sarnecki

The most well-known name among the trio is 41-year-old Hannah Pollack Sarnecki – daughter of the controversially media-frequent criminologist Jerzy Sarnecki, who is known for denying the connection between Sweden’s immigration policy and the country’s rising crime rate for many years.

Pollack Sarnecki is primarily an engaged anti-nationalist and has signed a debate article taking a political stance against the Sweden Democrats and their view of Swedish culture, which is described as “essentialist and outdated”. She has also written the report Fascism’s Green Roots: Conspiracy Theories, Crisis, and Collapse, in which she dramatically links peaceful criticism of globalization and vaccine mandates with bloody terror attacks and violent, obscure forms of nationalism.

Hannah Pollack Sarnecki in a panel discussion at the Swedish Holocaust Authority Forum for Living History. Photo: facsimile/FFLH/Youtube.

She has been hired in various contexts by the tax-funded Swedish Television (SVT), where she has managed to cast suspicion on the peaceful Freedom Convoy, whose demonstrators were later forcefully subdued by the Trudeau regime in Canada under the war laws enacted during the protests outside the parliament in Ottawa. In her capacity as an “expert” on state television, she has also expressed that vaccine critics threaten “the legitimacy of liberal democracy” – and describes vaccine criticism as a form of “Russian propaganda”.

Anna Lioufas

46-year-old Anna Lioufas is not as well-known to the public as Pollack Sarnecki but has previously worked at the Swedish police authority, the Swedish national council for crime prevention (Brå), and the Government offices of Sweden.

On social media, she is clear about her engagement for the LGBTQ lobby, her antipathy towards the former Republican president of the USA, Donald Trump, and her support for the violence-affirming Black Power movement BLM.

Anna Lioufas on Twitter.

The newspaper Samnytt has reviewed a large part of her social interactions, showing that she has “liked” or shared posts and comments hostile to the Sweden Democrats, and has expressed indignation that the nationalist party Alternative for Sweden is allowed to demonstrate like other parties.

“Walking around the city with the family and apparently “Alternativ för Sverige” has been allowed to hold some damn speech. It’s the CRAZIEST SHIT I’ve ever heard. Boiling and physically sick from the words that are said. Racism can go to hell!!!”, reads one of the posts she has liked.

Mathilde Jarlsbo

The third author of the report is Mathilde Jarlsbo, 26 years old and a trained criminologist, who has only worked for FOI for just under a year.

In an interview with Lund University, she emphasizes that she spends her days analyzing how “antagonists using digital means can pose a threat to democracy” and how these are mapped out.

Mathilde Jarlsbo with FOI’s lapel pin. Photo: Linkedin

– Through the assessment of threats and risks, evaluation of capabilities and structures, and data collection, the everyday work aims to conduct studies and research that can contribute to increased knowledge, quality, and security.

Jarlsbo has also previously worked on a report that takes a hard stance against system-critical journalists – under the title Did someone say election fraud? – The information environment on social media in connection with the 2022 election campaign. This report links Swedish alternative media and opinion makers with bots and the spread of disinformation campaigns against the major political parties, also attempting to cast suspicion on those who raise questions about potential irregularities in the Swedish election.

Facts: Säpo/FOI

The Swedish security service (Säpo) is one of Sweden's two operational police authorities, the other being the police authority. The stated task of the security service is to protect the freedoms and rights of Sweden's citizens, national security, and the democratic constitutional state. The head of the agency is appointed by the government.

The Swedish defence research agency (FOI) is a government agency under the Ministry of defence, tasked with conducting research for both civilian and military defense to "protect Sweden's sovereign rights and Swedish interests".

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