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Syria: ‘most dangerous’ Isis leaders Scandinavian



President Bashar al-Assad has thanked Sweden for taking in record numbers of refugees during the war, but warned about a growing danger from ‘Scandinavian’ Islamist extremists in his country.


Syria’s President made the claims in a video interview in English with Sweden’s tabloid newspaper Expressen.

“As long as we have terrorism growing in different European countries, Sweden cannot be safe,” he said when asked about rising numbers of Scandinavians travelling to and from the middle east to fight alongside Isis and other extremist groups.

“The most dangerous leaders of Daesh and Isis in our region are Scandinavian…that’s what we have as information,” he said.

“Terrorism is not a domestic issue, it’s not even regional, it’s global,” the President also noted.

The Expressen interview was published days after Sweden’s Security Service (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 6000 people from across Europe have now fought in the war-torn nation.

Säpo confirmed to The Local 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.
“About 50 of those known to have travelled to Syria have returned to Sweden. They travel to Syria, return to Sweden and tend to go back again,” said press officer Fredrik Milder.
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