Terrorist ‘Mecca’ Sweden is struggling to prevent attacks and track rejected refugees
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- Rakhmat Akilov Rakhmat Akilov, a 39-year-old rejected asylum seeker and a citizen of...[+]
- Al-Qaeda Al-Qaeda is a global militant Islamist organization founded by Osama bin...[+]
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The truck attack in Stockholm, doubtlessly the bloodiest in Sweden’s history, can trigger other radicals in the Nordic country to follow suit, Swedish experts maintain. Swedish society is claimed to be powerless in dealing with Daesh returnees and homegrown radicals, let alone stopping their interaction with the international Islamist community.
The Stockholm truck attack, which killed four people dead and injured 15, left many Swedes asking themselves what could possibly be done to prevent it from ever happening again. According to experts, Sweden’s efforts to combat extremism are deficient in many ways.
Of late, Swedish MPs have been engaged in cross-party talks about measures to combat terrorism, involving fast-track investigation, camera surveillance and enhanced information gathering rights. According to National Defense College senior researcher Magnus Ranstorp, these measures are insufficient and arrive too late, as Sweden already evolved into an “economic crimes paradise.” Ranstorp pointed out that organizations banned in, for instance, Germany, are free to raise funds and propagate openly in Sweden.
Another question the Swedish politicians most often miss, according to Ranstorp, is the foreign funding.
Svenska Dagbladet columnist Ivar Arpi went previously so far as to call Sweden a “Mecca for terrorists.” In a scathing opinion piece earlier this month, Arpi highlighted the lack of procedures to charge jihadists and put them behind bars. As a result of Sweden’s legislature, which demands irrefutable proof of war crimes, defectors who have murdered, raped and pillaged in the name of Daesh may go unpunished for lack of evidence.
Magnus Sandelin, journalist and the author of “Swedish Daesh Warriors, From al-Qaeda to Jihadi Cool” argued that Sweden has been exploited as a “safe haven” for supporting Islamist terrorism since the early 1990s. According to Sandelin, recruitment, propaganda and fund-raising were all carried out from Sweden, which he called an exporter of terrorism.
et another problem linked to the truck attack is the problem of refused asylum seekers. Uzbek terrorist Rakhmat Akilov was found to be only one of thousands of asylum seekers slated for deportation who had disappeared from the radar of Swedish authorities. In the Nordic country, the Swedish border police are tasked with tracking down people who stay in the country illegally, keeping an eye on the external border, as well as monitoring airports, ferry terminals and the country’s over 100 border crossings.
According to him, it is extremely unlikely that these people will choose to leave Sweden voluntarily. Moreover, the horde of illegal immigrants is expected to grow further, as Sweden is moving on with processing the 163,000 asylum applications it received in the record year 2015. By his own admission, Engström was expecting between 40,000 and 60,000 new cases in the coming years, of which two thirds will go missing.