Swedish extremism hotline prepares to open

Swedish extremism hotline prepares to open
An extremism helpline is being set up in Sweden. Photo: Christine Olsson/TT
A Swedish helpline for families worried that a loved one may be on the path to radicalization will open on November 16th, said the Red Cross.

The Swedish Red Cross confirmed on Wednesday that it would set up a national hotline for extremism, which The Local wrote about earlier this year.

The announcement comes barely a week after two people were killed in a racially-motivated attack on a school in Trollhättan that shocked the nation.

“We are launching this hotline at the request of the National Coordinator Against Extremism. We want to help the families, the friends of people tempted by radical extremism,” Swedish Red Cross president Anna Carlstedt told the AFP news agency.

The aim of the hotline is not to identify potential extremists, whether they are sympathizers of radical Islam, the extreme left or the hard-right, but to offer support to “all those who suspect a loved one is being radicalized,” Carlstedt added.

Several other countries, including France and Britain, have set up similar free phone numbers to address concerns about radicalization.

Sweden is still reeling from the attack in the western town of Trollhättan last Thursday, in which a teaching assistant and a pupil were killed by a sword-wielding attacker with apparent far-right, anti-immigrant sympathies.

And Swedish security police Säpo reported earlier this month that 125 Swedes are currently believed to be fighting for terror groups such as the Islamic State (also known as Isis or IS) in Syria and Iraq.

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