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Friday 18.08.2017 | Name days: Liene, Helēna, Elena, Ellena, Liena

Latvian resident enters the ranks of Islamic extremist group

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Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RUUp until now, there has been no information regarding the possible involvement of Latvian residents in extremist groups. But now Latvia has joined the ranks of countries whose citizens fight in the ranks of terrorist groups.

Latvian resident enters the ranks of Islamic extremist group

Latvian Security Police is aware of one Latvian resident who has been in Syria for several months. Several other security institutions have been interested in this matter, as reported by Nekā personīga.

EU authorities are worried that more and more residents of this region leave to fight alongside terrorists in Syria and Iraq. For example, there are approximately 300 people from Sweden involved in armed clashes. Several such ‘volunteers’ have been noticed by the Estonian Security Police. In Denmark, for example, terrorists managed to receive considerable state benefits while fighting in the Near East.

Nine years ago, Danish cartoonist Kurt Westergaard published a cartoon of Prophet Mohammed, which Muslims found offensive. Attacks on Danish embassies were carried out at the same time as Danish flags were being burned. Over the course of these past several years, Denmark welcomed many refugees from Muslim countries. 20,000 people arrived from Syria alone in 2014.

According to sociologist surveys, the Danish believe migration is a serious threat to their country’s security. They specifically mention migration and actions related to actions of followers of radical Islam. Some residents of Denmark who wish to take part in armed conflicts on the side of different Islamic terrorist organizations see it as a form of exotic adventure.

«The Danish police have information about 100 Danish residents who had participated in fights on the side of ISIS. 16 of them died in armed clashes and 28 of them have returned back to Denmark. The question now is – What to do?’ How to stop the radicalization of the population of Denmark? How to stop them from travelling to areas of armed conflicts in the Near East or any other country where such clashes take place? What is shocking is the fact that the Danish residents who did fight on the side of terrorists were also being paid significant social benefits from the state,» – says Latvian ambassador to Denmark Kaspars Ozolins.

Up until now, there has been no information on the possible involvement of Latvian residents in armed clashes of Islamic radicals. The programme reports that at least one Latvian resident is currently in Syria and has been sighting there for several months. This is confirmed by Latvian Security Police. ‘Based on information of Latvian SP, one Latvian resident is currently involved in the armed conflict in Syria. According to this information, this resident has joined an armed group that fights against the government in Syria. Authorities have taken notice of several other persons who have expressed interest in taking part in this conflict […] Latvian Security Police urges all residents of Latvia to report information related to people and their plans to travel to Syria or other hot spots in the world,’ – as the police noted during the programme.

Security Police and Interior Ministry criticize legislators for not completing their promise – to allow authorities to punish Latvian supporters of terrorism. This September, there was news about National-Bolsheviks from Ludza, who mentioned in an interview that they are proud to be fighting against the Ukrainian army. Latvian Prime Minister and other government officials have noted the necessity to amend laws as soon as possible. However, the proposed amendments have become stuck in between responsible ministries.

The most common method used by radicals to recruit newcomers is by using the Internet. It is also possible to use the Internet to prepare for the trip, check the people to contact and how to reach the area of the conflict. The recruit is then trained and sent to fight. These recruits become even more dangerous when they return and start recruiting others.

«We wish to fight not only their desire to travel there, but also their actions aimed at recruiting other people and seek funding,» – explains Interior Ministry’s parliamentary secretary Evika Silina.

Ex-President of Latvia Vaira Vike Freiberga expressed her opinion on the threat Islamic terrorists pose to Europe. During her interview, Freiberga said that while Islamic terrorists had been indifferent toward Latvia in the past, they may change their mind once Latvia becomes the presiding country over the European Union.


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