As Forces loyal to the Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad continue to make advances against the “rebels”, dispirited jihad fighters from Western countries are expected to return “home” with a bad attitude and a working knowledge of explosives and firearms, looking for a fight. Authorities in Norway are apprehensive about “Norwegian” mujahideen who make their way back from Syria with the intention of applying in Oslo the skills learned in Homs or Aleppo.
Our Norwegian correspondent The Observer has translated an article about the concerns of PST, the Norwegian security police. My favorite quote from the article:
“They watch the horrors on TV and on the Internet, and want to travel to Syria to do something good for others.”
Only a Swedish or Norwegian academic could advance such a bizarre explanation for the motives of the holy warriors of Islam.
The translator includes this introductory note:
This article from today’s VG describes the ticking bomb that the Norwegian authorities have lovingly brought to our shores, assembled and planted firmly under their own feet. They have of course also lit the fuse, knowing very well what will happen next.
It’s so obvious that it almost borders on the ridiculous, but even so they probably still believe that they can prevent the inevitable cataclysmic bang.
The psychiatrist quoted in this article is worried about PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder). I’d be more worried about SAIBD (Severe Allah-Infested Brain Disorder). Registered cases of this mental illness are unfortunately on the rise in Norway.
The translated article from VG.no:
Worried that Norwegian Syria warriors may commit terror
PST is concerned about returning combatants
(VG NETT) Radical Muslims are traveling abroad to fight in the civil war in Syria. They return home to Norway with a robust social network and military fighting skills.
Ever since the mass protests against the Assad regime descended into an armed conflict in 2011, dozens of Norwegian Muslims have traveled abroad to fight shoulder to shoulder with various rebel groups.
PST is now deeply concerned about the warriors returning to Norway.
“Some of those who have gone off to fight could eventually return to Norway more determined and more capable of planning terrorist attacks,” says Siv Alsén, a spokesperson for the PST, to VG.
“This could be the result of both personal experiences and of having established ties with groups that wish to carry out attacks in Western countries,” she says.
The numbers are rising
According to PST the number of individuals that have traveled from Norway to various conflict areas has risen and some have probably joined different militant Islamist groups.
In addition to countries plagued by conditions of civil war such as Syria, these individuals also travel to Somalia, Yemen, North Caucasus, Afghanistan and Pakistan.
“Extreme insurgent groups inspired by al-Qaeda are operating inside Syria, and the PST is concerned that individuals from Norway head over there and join these groups,” says Alsén.
And like its 60 partners in international cooperation, the Norwegian intelligence authorities are witnessing a trend where many of the young Muslims who return home from war zones become even more dangerous.
Several Norwegian Muslims are alleged to have joined the terrorist group Al Nusra in Syria, which appears to be one of the most brutal insurgency groups in the country.
“Some of those who join could be Islamists, while others may simply be patriotic. They watch the horrors on TV and on the Internet, and want to travel to Syria to do something good for others,” says Professor of Anthropology Unni Wikan to VG.
Lars Weisæth, a professor of disaster psychiatry, is concerned about the psychological impact that can affect the young warriors.
“It is normal for soldiers who have been exposed to traumatic events in a war to be affected by post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD),” says Weisæth.
“The worrying aspect is that people with PTSD often perceived things and events as threats and they are more easily provoked than others,” he says.
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