Swedish Terror Expert: It’s Very Difficult to Prosecute Returned ISIS Members

A woman carrying a baby walks along with other women inside the Kurdish-run al-Hol camp in the al-Hasakeh governorate in northeastern Syria on January 25, 2020, where families of Islamic State (IS) foreign fighters are held. (Photo by Delil SOULEIMAN / AFP) (Photo by DELIL SOULEIMAN/AFP via Getty Images)
DELIL SOULEIMAN/AFP via Getty Images

Swedish terrorism expert Magnus Ranstorp has said it is incredibly difficult for the state to prosecute Islamic State members who have returned from the Middle East, due to a lack of evidence.

Ranstorp’s comments come after the security police (Säpo) arrested and questioned a Swedish ISIS member earlier this week, after she had returned from Syria.

According to Ranstorp, such questioning is relatively routine for Islamic State returnees, noting that Sweden is currently conducting 40 similar investigations for various crimes including war crimes, genocide, and crimes against humanity, broadcaster SVT reports.

The terrorism expert said that getting successful convictions in Islamic State returnee cases, however, is difficult.

Referencing to the woman who was arrested on Monday, he said: “If you don’t have digital tracks or testimonies, it’s very difficult to get her convicted of anything.”

“Anyone who has contact with IS can be classified as dangerous. But exactly how dangerous she is cannot be determined without knowing her psychological state or beliefs or exactly what she did [in Syria],” he added.

Ranstorp has criticised Sweden’s legal structures in the past and its ability to convict Swedish ISIS members, specifically female fighters, saying that neighbouring Norway has laws that are far better at dealing with returnees.

“As Norway has functioning terror legislation, the Norwegian women should be brought home and prosecuted. The child welfare service should take care of the children,” he had said in May 2019.

“But I do not think the Swedish women and the children [should] come back. We do not have a good system to take care of them and make sure they are not dangerous,” he added.

Sweden has seen ISIS members return in the last several years, one of whom temporarily returned for medical treatment and travelled back to fight for the terror group after he was healed.

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

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