Swedish Islamic State Fighters Captured in Raqqa Could Face Death Penalty
Fresh reports claim that captured Swedish jihadis in Raqqa, Syria, may face execution, and according to a terrorism expert, it is unlikely the Swedish government will try to intervene.
Magnus Ranstorp said that there were reports that several Swedes who had travelled to the Middle East to join and fight for the radical Islamic terror group had been captured as their former capital Raqqa fell in recent weeks.
Despite the fact that many of the captured fighters could face the death penalty, Ranstorp said: “I think the Swedish authorities would rather see that they stay and be judged there, rather than they come home and become a threat to safety,” Aftonbladetreports.
Swedish Security Service (Säpo) head Anders Thorberg told Swedish media that the agency believes Swedish fighters had been not only captured but some had been killed as well.
Ranstorp said that there were questions as to how the prisoners would be treated by Iraqi authorities in particular. “Without a doubt, there are big risks. Everything from torture and torture-like conditions to executions. Iraq has said that it will judge individuals from Europe who have committed crimes harshly,” he said.
It is estimated that hundreds of Swedish citizens have left the country to fight alongside Islamic State and other radical Islamist groups in the Middle East.
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) November 20, 2016
One of the most well-known Swedes to have packed up and joined the group is Michael Skråmos, a former “Islamophobia expert”. Skråmos, whose last known location was Raqqa, made headlines earlier this year when he called for Islamic State supporters in Sweden to carry out acts of terrorism in the country.
While pointing out that the Swedish government has no obligation to help the captured Islamic radicals, Ranstorp said: “It will be the first warning signal that comes to Swedish authorities when these individuals turn to the embassies for help.”
Many Swedish jihadis returned from Syria and Iraq before the fall of Mosul and al-Raqqa this year. Swedish authorities have been deeply criticised for their stance on reintegrating the jihadis with some municipalities offering them everything from debt forgiveness to driving lessons.
The returning radicals have also contributed to the massive increase in the number of Islamic extremists in Sweden in recent years. Since 2010, the number of violent jihadis has increased ten-fold.