Säpo, the Swedish Security Service reports 300 Swedish citizens have joined terror organisations in the Middle East in the past three years.
The 300 figure, which is not inconsiderable for a nation of just 9.5 million people, is higher than the total number of Swedes who volunteered for service with the brutal German SS Viking division during the Second World War, reports TheLocal.se. Of the 300, around 40 have been killed in combat while 125 remain active in Syria and Iraq, and 115 have returned to Sweden.
The last official figures had the number of ‘Swedes’ known to be fighting abroad at 150, so the latest announcement represents a significant revision.
Speaking to journalists, Säpo chief Anders Thornberg said of the Swedish Jihadist volunteers: “Compared to similar countries, a disproportionate number have traveled from Sweden.
“There is a violent Islamist environment in Sweden that influences people to go. The core of about 200 people who support the logistics, money and recruitment has been fairly successful here. We’ve never seen anything like it. Before Syria and Isis we had maybe 40 travellers to Yemen, Afghanistan, Pakistan and other countries. Then we had a fair chance to keep track. Now we have 300 in three years”.
Incredibly those jihadists who return to Sweden are openly celebrated and “treated like rock stars” in their own communities, acting as role models for young people. “We are facing a historic challenge”, he said. Despite that, Thornberg insisted not all of those who had gone out to fight in the Middle East and returned were terrorists. Just “one or two” of those returning resembled a threat that needed dealing with, he said.
As a major importer of human beings, Sweden is having a significant problem finding terrorists as they enter the country and claim asylum. As reported by Breitbart London earlier this year, from January to July a remarkable 41 suspected terrorists and war criminals tried to sneak into the country. Despite their past crimes, in most cases those involved still get permits to stay, as Swedish law prevents them from deporting individuals, even if they are killers, to countries they consider to be unsafe.
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