As Europe’s migrant crisis deepens, Norway is considering passing a new law to stop its citizens fighting for Islamic State.
Anders Anundsen, Norwegian Minister of Justice, said current laws were too lenient and that more must be done to punish Norwegians who travel to fight for the terror group.
“It can be difficult to prove what foreign fighters have been doing in conflicts such as those in Iraq and Syria. This proposal will forbid all forms of non-state military activity,” he said.
The Local reports he is also proposing a ban on recruitment and any activities that support recruitment for the Islamic State, and also claims the phenomenon of Norwegians travelling to Syria and Iraq to join the jihadis is a “serious societal problem”.
“We have, until now, been required to demonstrate a connection to a registered terror organisation. This will no longer apply,” Mr Anundsen added.
His call comes a month after police arrested three terror suspects in Norway as part of a series of coordinated raids across Europe. One of those arrested was Mullah Krekar who in 2012 was jailed for making death threats against Norway’s now Prime Minister Erna Solberg.
He had previously threatened former Prime Minister Kjell Magne Bondevik, and was under surveillance due to his radicalism.
Earlier this year, the small Norwegian town of Lisleby also left authorities baffled after seven young men left for Syria to join terrorist groups.
Residents said the men “had little in common, coming from different ethnic, socio-economic and religious backgrounds.”
However, Yousef Bartho Assidiq, a charismatic radical Norwegian covert, visited the area numerous times “with members of Prophet’s Umma, a radical group from Oslo that openly supports the Islamic State.”
He said one of the men, Abdullah Chaib, was the central figure in the gang and was a “real fanatic”. “He talked about jihad all the time,” Mr Assidiq said.
Mr Assidiq has now left the group and founded a counter-extremism organisation.