The 23-year-old man is accused of recruiting for a terrorist organization, as well as being on his way to Iraq in order to join Kurdish extremist group PKK, a faction present on the European Union’s list of terrorist organizations. Attunda district court, near Stockholm, has decided to extradite him to Germany where he is wanted for the crimes.
“Germany had issued a European Arrest Warrant and he was detained at passport control,” Ewamari Häggkvist, prosecutor for the Public Prosecution Office for Security Cases (Åklagarkammaren för säkerhetsmål) confirmed to news agency TT.
The man, who is a Turkish citizen, was arrested on suspicion of two terror offences. He is accused of recruiting a woman for the PKK, allegedly putting her in contact with people who took her to to a terrorist training camp organized by the group. The woman is then said to have gone on to perform guard duty at the front line in northern Iraq.
The 23-year-old is also accused of “preparing for serious violent upheaval” by allegedly being on his way to Iraq in order to join the PKK. He is said to have told the Swedish authorities that he lives in France, and that the allegations against him are politically motivated because “Germany collaborates with Turkey”.
“He denied the crimes, and we believe there are a number of formal deficiencies in the arrest warrant that mean it is not possible to use it as grounds for the decision the district court has reached. We will appeal,” his defence lawyer Thomas Olsson told TT.
The case follows two similar arrests at Arlanda airport in recent months. A 35-year-old man accused of being a member of the PKK was detained in mid-April due to his name being present on an international arrest warrant list. In another case that same month, a 25-year-old was also arrested at the airport on suspicion of violating new Swedish laws against traveling abroad to join a terrorist group.
The anti-terror legislation, which was voted through the Riksdag in March, means those convicted of traveling to another country in order to seek terror training or to commit a terrorist act can be handed a two-year sentence.
It also stipulates that those who finance a terrorist group must spend up to two years behind bars, or up to six years if the crime is considered aggravated.