Up to 300 Swedes join ISIL terrorists: Official
Iran Press TV
Sat Nov 22, 2014 4:13PM GMT
The Swedish security service, Säpo, says an estimated 250 to 300 Swedish citizens have travelled to Iraq and Syria to fight for the Takfiri ISIL terrorist group and the number is growing rapidly.
Anders Thornberg, the head of the country's security service, made the remarks on Saturday during an interview with the state-run broadcaster, Sveriges Radio.
Thornberg confirmed that the figure, which includes 100 confirmed individuals, may in reality be higher as there are a number of cases that are still unreported.
"We have seen an increasing number of young Swedish men travel to Syria, where they receive training in camps and are taught to become terrorists and how to handle explosives and weapons," said Thornberg, adding, "They are crossing all lines of human behavior, taking part in beheadings, fighting and killing other human beings."
The security chief said the agency must monitor those militants who return to Sweden as they may be prepared to also commit violent acts at home.
The comments by Thornberg came on the same day as German Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere said some 550 Germans have so far traveled to the Middle East to join the ISIL.
In recent months, thousands of people from Europe are said to have travelled to Syria and Iraq to fight for the ISIL, which currently controls large areas of the two countries.
According to an October report by the UN Security Council, 15,000 foreigners have flocked to Syria and Iraq to fight alongside the ISIL or other terrorist groups.
European countries, including Sweden, have repeatedly expressed concern over the ISIL's influence across the continent. Authorities fear that the European militants will use their combat skills against their countries upon returning home.
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