Swedish trio believed to have joined Isis troops

TT/The Local
TT/The Local - [email protected]
Swedish trio believed to have joined Isis troops
Border crossing between Turkey and Syria. Photo: AP Photo/Burhan Ozbilici

UPDATED: Three Swedes are thought to have succeeded in joining Isis in Syria or Iraq after multiple attempts to travel to the war-torn countries, Sweden's biggest news agency has reported.


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The TT newswire cites two independent sources saying that the trio – two young men and a young woman from Örebro in central Sweden – have arrived in an area in Syria or Iraq controlled by the extremist group Isis (also known as IS or Islamic State).

“I got the information from the parents, they are very worried,” said Mahdi Warsama, chairman of the African Horn Cultural Centre in Örebro, who had tried to help stop the youths from becoming jihadists.

Another source who did not want to be named told TT that the three Swedes had told contacts in Sweden that they were in Syria.

News agency Reuters reported on May 19th that Turkish authorities had deported the group twice on Sweden's request.

But Swedish authorities later claimed that the trio were thought to have travelled to Turkey a third time, after which Warsama believes they chose a different route to the Isis-controlled area.

“Somebody must be helping them with money and contacts,” he said.

One of the men, a 22-year-old, has a previous record of various criminal offences, according to TT. The other man's older brother is believed to have died in the war in Syria or Iraq.

Sweden's Security Service, Säpo, did not want to comment to confirm TT's information.

In the past few years Turkey has deported 1,350 foreign citizens suspected of trying to join extremist jihadist groups in Syria and Iraq.

READ ALSO: Why Swedish girls are joining Isis

In April, Säpo told The Local there was "very little" it could do to stop people travelling to Syria to join al-Qaeda inspired groups, as EU officials estimated up to 6,000 people from across Europe have now fought in the war-torn nation.

It confirmed that at least 150 Swedish residents were known to have been to Syria or Iraq to fight for Isis or other extremist groups, with intelligence suggesting that at least 35 had died in the process.
Days later, Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad told Sweden’s tabloid newspaper Expressen that he believed some of "the most dangerous leaders of Daesh and Isis in our region are Scandinavian".
More than 215,000 people have been killed in Syria's four-year war, which is increasingly dominated by jihadist groups. The fighting started after pro-democracy protests against President Assad's government became violent and the country slid into civil war.


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