Paris attack terrorist radicalized in Sweden
A former resident of Sweden who was killed in a police anti-terror raid in Brussels was recruited and radicalized in Stockholm by an extremist network whose leader has eluded Säpo for over a decade, reports SVT's investigative programme, Uppdrag granskning.
Mohamed Belkaid lived in Sweden for almost four years before leaving to join Isis in Syria in 2014. The 35-year-old Algerian is said to have had a coordinating role in the terrorist attacks in Paris and was reported to be planning new attacks in Brussels in March when he was shot dead by Belgium police at an apartment shared with several over jihadists.
A week later, the remainder of the terror group killed over 30 people in Brussels with suicide bombs.
Uppdrag granskning can now reveal that Belkaid became radicalised in Sweden by an Islamic extremist who recruits and helps finance the so-called Islamic State. The security and intelligence service Säpo has known about the man since the 1990s.
Sources tell the programme that Mohamed Belkaid worked at one of two leather and furniture shops run by the radical preacher in central Stockholm. The shop worked as a meeting place for extremists and according to Uppdrag granskning, it is where Belkaid, a petty thief, became radicalised.
The shops have since closed down and the whereabouts of its owner are not known although sources tell the programme that he is still an active IS recruiter in Sweden.
Uppdrag granskning, in cooperation with the German public service broadcaster ARD, gained access to a leaked list containing thousands of names of IS fighters. The documents date from 2013 and 2014 and include the names, addresses and other personal details as well as whether the candidate is prepared to carry out a suicide attack.
The information showed that 12 recruits came from Sweden and had an association with the jihadist in Stockholm.