Every police patrol unit in Finland will be equipped with submachine guns following an Aug. 18 knife attack in the city of Turku, Finnish media reported Friday.
Officers will carry Heckler & Koch MP5s, in addition to their existing Glock and Walther handguns. The move comes two weeks after two people were killed and another eight were injured in a jihadi-inspired knife attack in Turku.
“We must pay attention to what’s going on in our surroundings,” the Finnish police board’s Ari Alanen told newspaper STT. “Increasingly, we need to consider the weapons and kinds of protective equipment that are needed.”
Alanen said the move is meant to give people a feeling of calmness rather than intimidation.
“The police don’t want to leave a militarized impression, but rather a sense of being a reliable department that citizens feel comfortable approaching,” Alanen said.
Moroccan asylum seeker Abderrahman Bouanane was arrested shortly after the attack. Finnish broadcaster YLE reported Friday that Bouanane released a manifesto and a video prior to the attack where he outlined his motives.
“It is a kind of declaration or manifesto, but what it means, that’s currently under investigation,” chief investigator Olli Töyräs told YLE. “Now we’re looking into how it should be read. Not just a word for word translation, but what it means in relation to this incident and these events.”