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Sweden to attend anti-extremism summit in DC

Published onsdag 18 februari 2015 kl 12.13
IS supporters marching in Iraq June 2014. Photo: STR/AP.
IS supporters marching in Iraq June 2014. Photo: STR/AP.

The Swedish government is sending representatives to a conference in the US about combating violent extremism and organizations like IS.

According to the government website, Minister of the Interior Anders Ygeman is representing the Swedish government. He will be accompanied by intelligence service chief Anders Thornberg and the government's national coordinator on anti-extremism, and former leader of the Social Democrats, Mona Sahlin.

The main focus of the conference in Washington is how to prevent outcast people from becoming radicalized, training as terrorists abroad and then returning to their home country to commit terrorist acts.

Many countries have realized that alienation, unemployment and criminality are the breeding grounds for extremism and the American government is supporting local religious leaders, social workers and politicians in order to attempt to stop those young men, who are often at risk of becoming extremists.

The difficulty is in balancing surveillance and privacy, and the issue is also sensitive if the focus is concentrated on Muslim neighborhoods.

Another theme of the conference, which begins on Wednesday, is how the US and other countries can improve at presenting a counter to the glorification of terrorism that is happening in social media.

The propaganda machine from IS sends out around 90,000 messages every day.

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