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Muslim Swedes told to join Syrian war effort

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12:22 CET+01:00
Swedish security service Säpo has expressed concerns that Swedes fighting in Syria may commit war crimes after a militant group's recent YouTube recruitment video called on Swedes to join the war effort in Syria.

Säpo told the TT news agency that a few Swedes are already fighting in the Syrian civil war.

The new video clip was posted on YouTube on November 21st by a group calling itself the Swedish holy warriors in Syria (Svenska Mujahideen Fi Ash Sham). The group also emailed a link to the video to TT.

"Jihad is obligatory for any and all who believe in Allah, his prophet and doomsday. It is obligatory in Sweden and in the rest of the world," a man speaking in fluent but slightly accented Swedish says in the clip.

"It is heart-wrenching when Muslims turn their back on their sisters and brothers," one of the masked men adds.

"The aim is to raise awareness and recruit people to the conflict in Syria," terror expert Linus Gustafsson of the Swedish National Defence College (Försvarshögskolan) told TT.

The video shows several persons holding automatic weapons assembling outdoors. The landscape appears to be Mediterranean.

However, experts at Säpo explained they were unable to confirm that the video is recorded in Syria.

It also remains unclear why the group has chosen to use an older Arabic name for Syria - Sham.

Nor is there information on whether the men in the video have any ties to larger militant networks or have acted alone in producing the amateur clip.

Other experts also questioned the extent of the Swedish connections of those behind the video.

"You see one person who speaks Swedish, so it's hard to say anything about how many who are behind the film have ties to Sweden," terror expert Lars Nicander from the Swedish National Defence College told Expressen.

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The new recruitment video is not the first time Swedes have been called to arms by groups claiming it is a religious obligation.

”(Somali Islamists) al-Shabaab did something similar two years ago and filmed it in the sports arena in Mogadishu,” terror expert Lars Nicander at the Defence College (Försvarshögskolan) told Expressen.

TT/The Local/at

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