Why the Swedish government wants to send police to Iraq

The Swedish government wants to send members of the country's police force to Iraq in order to help investigate Swedes who have travelled there to commit acts of terrorism, Sveriges Radio reports.

Why the Swedish government wants to send police to Iraq
File photo of Swedish police officers. Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT

The hope is that it could mean more people who go there to engage in terrorism can be tried in Iraq and prevented from returning to Sweden, interior minister Anders Ygeman said.

“It is in order to put more people who travel to commit terrorism on trial in Iraq, and therefore prevent them from returning to Sweden or Europe,” he told the public broadcaster.

The Swedish officers would likely contribute with expertise, training, and also specialist skills like forensic work in order to secure evidence, the minister explained.

EU member states are currently in negotiations over a possible operation in Iraq. Ygeman says that he is hoping for decisive measures that will strengthen the Iraqi judiciary.

READ ALSO: The biggest terror threat facing Sweden in 2017

Around 300 Swedes have travelled abroad to join terrorist groups since 2012, according to the Swedish security police Säpo. About half of them have returned.