- - Wednesday, March 20, 2019

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

Sweden’s “social democracy,” often cited by Europeans and like-minded Americans as the model society, is in deep trouble. Sweden is no longer a low-crime country, but now a high-crime country, with rates of homicide significantly above the Western European average. Car torchings, attacks on first responders and even riots, are familiar to all.

With a population of just over 10 million, the government continues policies that the majority of Swedes oppose. Last December public-opinion polls reckoned that 53 percent of all Swedes want to reduce the number of arriving immigrants.

Swedes have grown accustomed to newspaper headlines about murder, robbery and mayhem, intimidation of witnesses and gangland executions. In a country long renowned for its safe streets and environs, voters cite “law and order” as the most important issue ahead of the national election in September.

But the topic of crime is sensitive, and debate in the consensus-oriented Scandinavian culture is restricted by taboos — especially about criticizing the growing numbers of Muslims, many from countries with a culture alien to Scandinavia and the West. The government’s excuse for denying Islamic terrorist attacks, obvious to everybody, is that no Islamic group has “officially” claimed responsibility for them.

In 2010, the national Security Service estimated that up to 200 persons are part of the violent Islamist phenomenon in Sweden. According to the Swedish Defense University, most of these militants are affiliated with the Islamic State. More than 300 Swedish residents traveled to Syria and Iraq to join ISIS terrorists. Some pay for their participations in such groups with money paid out from the Swedish state welfare system. In 2017, the director of the Swedish Security Service said the number of violent Islamic extremists residing in Sweden was estimated to be in the “thousands.”



Swedish immigrant law is chaotic. It does not allow the security services to take measures against returning ISIS fighters. The penalty for membership in a terrorist group is two to six years in prison and until that law was enacted returning ISIS terrorists could only be tried for specific crimes committed while they were fighting for the “caliphate.”

Earlier this year the government introduced legislation to criminalize membership in a terrorist organization, enabling prosecution of returning ISIS fighters who, while not having been connected to a specific crime, were proven to have been part of a terrorist organization.

Furthermore, according to the Swedish Defense University, since the 1970s residents of Sweden have been implicated in providing logistical and financial support, or membership, in various foreign-based militant Islamic militant groups.

The Danish Security and Intelligence Service next door warned that the number of jihadists in Sweden are a threat against Denmark since two terrorists arriving from Sweden were found guilty of part of the 2010 Copenhagen terror plot. In another neighboring country, Norwegians describe crime and social unrest in their country a result of “Swedish conditions.”

Efforts to strengthen anti-terror legislation have been hampered by human rights activists. However, when the number of Swedes traveling to join the Islamic State were exposed, some of the loudest activists withdrew from public debate after they were themselves exposed for harassing women on commuter trains. National security analysts warn that Sweden has not only welcomed ISIS terrorists, but their wives and children as well, who pose a security risk:

“The women are not innocent victims, and there is also a large group of ISIS children … From the age of eight or nine, they have been sent to indoctrination camps where they have learned close combat techniques and how to handle weapons. Some of them have learned how to kill … their identities will forever be linked to their time with ISIS, and the fact that they have an ISIS father or an ISIS mother.” Sweden’s mental health system is judged “not fit to deal with that, and if they stay with their extremist parents there could be delayed [terrorist] effects further down the line, 15-20 years from now.” Reality is a teacher grading on a sharp curve.

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