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international

More Swedes Become Foreign Fighters

Published fredag 23 oktober 2009 kl 10.51
Malena Rembe, counterterrorism analyst at the Security Police

Over the last two years, there has been an increased interest among Swedes to go abroad to fight in conflict areas, according to the Swedish Security Police Säpo.

Swedish Radio News has interviewed Säpo's counterterrorism analyst Malena Rembe, who says that there is currently a handfull Swedes in Pakistan and Afghanistan taking part in fighting or in training to prepare them for fighting. In Somalia, there are another 10 Swedes for the same reason, according to Rembe.

As far as the Security police gathers, these people travel on their own initiative and with their own money, and not with the support from any "official mosque".

One way for Säpo to gather information is to hold what they call "voluntary talks" with people they think might be about to go. Säpo has been criticised for this, by people who feel singled out as guilty, since the talks are held with many more than actually go.

Malena Rembe says that these talks has little effect to stop the trips, since "those who do want to go, will do so sooner or later anyway". The talks are however held because Säpo has been tipped off and, says Rembe, "we need to give the person in question the chance to comment".

Our journalism is based on credibility and impartiality. Swedish Radio is independent and not affiliated to any political, religious, financial, public or private interests.
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