A screen of Swedish Holy Warriors in Syria seeking new recruits on a video clip. Source: Swedish Television (SVT).
middle east

Swedes join Syrian rebels linked to al-Qaeda

Swedes have joined rebel forces fighting the regime of Bashar al-Assad in Syria, the Intelligence Service (Säpo) confirmed on Tuesday. Last week, a video clip uploaded by a group called Swedish Holy Warriors in Syria called on Swedes to join rebels in the country.

"Jihad is obligatory for all who believe in Allah, in his prophet and doomsday. It is obligatory in Sweden and in the rest of the world," a man says in the clip.

"Our analysis shows that it expresses a violent Islamist message," says Jonathan Peste, chief analyst at Säpo. "We know that there are Swedes who have gone to Syria to join groups inspired by al-Qaeda," he tells Swedish Television (SVT).

Säpo are no calling on parents of people who have gone to Syria to fight to get in touch. But Säpo is only interested in people planning to execute acts of terror, in Syria and elsewhere.

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