Airport exercise sparks Finns Party conspiracy theory

The training exercise is about how to deal with the outbreak of an infectious disease - Jussi Halla-aho suggested it was a cover story to bring back Isis-linked Finns from Syria.

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Officials participating in airport training exercise, Helsinki, 11th December 2019 / Credit: Tulli

A training exercise at Helsinki Airport has fueled a conspiracy theory from a senior politician.

Finnish Customs Tulli is working with other first responders at the airport on Wednesday to conduct a training scenario about how to deal with infectious diseases like rabies or African swine fever.

In a press release Tulli mentioned there would be increased activities at the airport from 09:00 on Wednesday morning.

However, Finns Party leader Jussi Halla-aho helped spread a conspiracy theory online by seeming to suggest the training event was a cover story to hide the fact they were bringing back Isis-linked Finnish women and children from a refugee camp in Syria.

“If you see weird stuff at the airport, it’s just a “biological threat” exercise, remember that!” writes the Finns Party leader.

“Funny coincident to have drills as information circulated on official channels last week that there was a charter plane waiting at Erbil” he added.

MP Iiris Suomela (Green) hit back at Halla-aho’s insinuation, saying “customs will have video to show what they’re doing because irresponsible politicians have spread wholly false rumours. This creates uncertainty and unnecessary work for the Finnish authorities. And these troublemakers dare to call themselves patriotic.”

“This MP spreads rumours without any proof” adds the Tampere MP, in response to Halla-Aho’s claims.