By Arthur Lyons for Voice of Europe
A list recently released by the Centre for Violent Extremism (CVE) disclosed that 41 of Sweden’s 290 municipalities are set to be forced to welcome back scores of returning ISIS members.
According to the Swedish broadcasting company SVT, the Centre for Violent Extremism invited officials from the 41 municipalities to an event which aims to teach them about returning terrorists in order to “provide support to the municipalities that have or may be able to receive returning children and adults from areas previously controlled by the Islamic state.”
A senior advisor at CVE by the name of Anders Kretz stated that the information they have on ISIS members who were currently en route to Sweden from former Islamic State territories in the Middle East or who had already made their way back to Sweden had been given to them from Swedish security forces, Säpo.
Press officer for Säpo, Karl Melin, confirmed that they were indeed working alongside the CVE on this matter, stating, “The information goes on to all those who are involved in one way or another for the best way to work with the issue.”
Melin continued, saying, “The purpose of this is to create the conditions for the police and municipalities to be able to handle individuals who are or have been in the conflict areas and possibly returning to Sweden.”
Because returning Islamic State members have Swedish passports, as per Swedish law, they can’t be turned away. This is the pretext by which the 41 municipalities are being forced to take in the ISIS returnees.
It’s seems as if – according to Swedish liberals – that the ISIS returnees simply have the right to settle back in wherever they see fit and to even claim social benefits.
About 50 percent of the 300 ‘Swedes’ who made the trek to Iraq and the Levant in and around 2012 to join their terrorist brothers and sisters in the Islamic State have already returned back to Sweden.
Some left-wing politicians in the country have even suggested that the Swedish government should integrate returning ISIS fighters back into Swedish society. Several municipalities have offered returning jihadis free driving lessons, free housing, and even debt forgiveness to make their transition back into Western society more comfortable.
But not all municipalities are so keen to welcome back returning jihadists with open arms. Christian Sonesson, the municipal board chairmen of Staffanstorp, has expressed his desire to deny to any municipal services to returning jihadis.
Last month, Sonesson, who is a member of Sweden’s Moderate Party, stated, “We think it’s unreasonable. If you have joined this type of terror-stamped organization, you have also turned away from the democratic society and the welfare systems we have.”
But it isn’t just Sonesson who is making a fuss about all of this. Other individuals – who are also members of the more reasonable camp of Swedes – have also expressed grave concerns over the return of Islamic State fighters. Michael Helders, an anti-violent extremism activist in Malmö, has asserted that returned ISIS members have already begun the process of recruit new members in underground mosques.
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