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Bildt: Sweden in dark over US terror extradition

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08:29 CET+01:00
Sweden's foreign minister Carl Bildt has stated that Sweden received no information with regards to two Swedes, suspected of terror crime in Somalia, who were extradited to the US.

In an interview with Sveriges Radio on Saturday, Bildt was asked whether Sweden received any information before the Swedes were taken to the US.

"If they'd be transported when it happened? No," he said.

The two Swedish nationals, aged 27 and 29-years-old and with Somali backgrounds, were arrested in Djibouti in August 2012.

The Swedish foreign ministry launched negotiations with authorities in Djibouti for the men to travel back to Sweden.

But before negotiations were concluded, the two men were taken to the United States to face charges of participating in weapons and explosives training with al-Shabaab, a US-designated terrorist group linked to al-Qaeda.

The Swedes joined al-Shabaab in 2008 and are accused of participating in weapons training with the group over a four year period.

A brother to one of the men has however previously claimed that the men regretted joining up with al-Shabaab and were on the run when they were arrested in August.

When the men were arrested the Swedish Security Service approached the prosecutor to assess whether they could be charged with any terror crime in Sweden.

It was assessed that there was no legal grounds to open a criminal investigation.

The 29-year-old's lawyer has previously said that the defendants have not committed any crimes against the US.

"American authorities believe that al-Shabaab, which has been designated as a terrorist group by the United States, propagates its activities on the internet and therefore 'affects American foreign trade'. In that case more or less anything falls within American jurisdiction," lawyer Ephraim Savitt told the TT news agency in December.

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If found guilty, the men could face up to 30 years in prison.

The Local/pvs

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