Expert: Sweden Has Become a ‘Base’ for International Radical Islamic Extremist Networks

TOPSHOT - A member of the Iraqi forces walks past a mural bearing the logo of the Islamic

Swedish researcher Peder Hyllengren of the Swedish Defence College has claimed that Sweden has become a hub of international Islamic extremism and that hundreds of Swedish residents have built up a vast network of jihadi contacts.

Hyllengren claimed that jihadi networks have been allowed to operate in Sweden for at least a decade and that Swedish lawmakers have been lagging on proper legislation to deal with the problem, Swedish broadcaster SVT reports.

According to the researcher, Swedish residents have been in contact with Islamic terrorists like Mohamed Belkaid who was shot during a raid in Brussels by police who were searching for terrorist Salah Abdeslam who had participated in the 2015 Paris Bataclan massacre.

Hyllengren blamed the political correctness of the Swedish establishment for the inaction in fighting Islamic radicalism along with “the activism that existed against both the security services and those who tried to lift the seriousness of these issues. This meant that the threshold became higher for both politicians and others to enter this area.”

“You risk being identified as racist in a way that you did not see in other European countries. There, this question was as uncontroversial as the importance of combating Nazism and right-wing extremism. But in Sweden, it took a long time before we could discuss jihadism in the same way that we discussed Nazism for a long time,” he added.

Islamic extremism has seen a dramatic increase over the last decade according to the Swedish security service (Säpo). In less than a decade, the country saw the number of violent radicals rise from 200 to over 2,000.

Last year Säpo chief Anders Thornberg blamed mass migration for the increase of radicals saying: “This is the ‘new normal’ … It is a historic challenge that extremist circles are growing.”

Mass migration has also led to the formation of heavily migrant-populated “no-go zones” in the suburbs of major cities like Stockholm and Malmö. Violence among gangs which operate in the areas has become such a problem that Sweden’s Prime Minister has refused to rule out deploying the military to combat the violence.

 Follow Chris Tomlinson on Twitter at @TomlinsonCJ or email at ctomlinson(at) 


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