“Around 30 in a short time, and in recent years targets in Sweden have been pointed out as legitimate within global al-Qaeda inspired ideology,” Jonathan Peste, head analyst in counter-terrorism at Säpo, told the TT news agency.
“We are worried.”
Peste is concerned that the fighters, upon return to Sweden, could be an inspiration for other like-minded Syrians in Sweden.
Säpo has previously refused to offer a specific figure for the number people leaving Sweden to fight, but the figure was released on Monday as a part of the agency’s annual report.
Peste pointed out that the people have travelled over the past 18 months, and that some of the people may still be in Syria. He added that many of them did not have family ties in Syria, evidence that they were fighting for ideology.
“These are low figures we’re giving that we are completely certain about. We have information about more, but we are working on that,” he said.
According to Säpo, there are around 200 violent and extreme Islamists in Sweden.
In October, 2010, the terror scale in Sweden was raised from two to three on a five-grade scale.