More and more security threats remain despite deportation decisions
The number of people in Sweden classified as security threats continues to increase. Last year the number increased 25%, to just over 250. But few deportations are carried out.
This involves individuals who, according to Security Police (Säpo), engage in security-threatening activity, for example, with connection to terrorism or espionage. In the year 2020, there were about 200 persons in Sweden identified as security threats. In 2021, that increased by about 50, and the total number is now up around 250. That is the information given by the Security Police to Doku.
But only a small portion of these cases lead to a person’s being deported from Sweden, even if there is a deportation order. In their annual report for 2021, the Security Police writes that the reasons for this are many. In a large proportion of the cases, there are obstacles to the execution of the deportation orders.
Säpo invests large resources
“Even if these individuals are not Swedish citizens, and in many cases, have separation orders, deportations are not always executed, since individuals, among other things, may risk being vulnerable to threats and violence in their home countries,” writes the Säpo press secretary Gabriel Wernstedt in an email to Doku.
But the authority also sees an increase in the number of persons who are judged to be a security threat but who continue to stay in Sweden though there is no obstacle to enforcing the deportation. That forces Säpo to invest large resources to follow up on individuals who really have no right to stay in the country.
“It is partly a matter of the concerned individuals not voluntarily cooperating in leaving Sweden, partly a lack of cooperation from the receiving countries,” Säpo writes in its annual report.
On the other hand, the Security Police don’t provide much information on the cases and don’t want to answer Doku’s questions about, for example, which extremist environments the individuals have connections to.
In recent years, however, Doku and other media have reported on several cases where leading Islamists have been taken into custody awaiting deportation from Sweden, but where separation has not been executed on grounds of so-called obstacles to enforcement. There are, for example, Gavlemamen Abu Raad and his son, Raad al-Duhan, who, according to the Migration Court of Appeals would risk persecution if they were deported to Iraq.
Convicted for a terrorist crime
Another case is the imam Ali Berzengi, convicted in 2005 for preparing to commit a terrorist crime after he sent money to the terrorist organization Ansar al-Islam. Berzengi has been under a reporting order to police, in principle, since he was released from jail in 2007.
In a decision on extended reporting duty, on which the appeals court ruled in 2019, it stated that Ali Berzengi, according to Security Police, reportedly maintained contact with several people suspected of having connections to terror-related activity, and the court further wrote:
“Given the background of the burdensome contacts that Ali Berzengi has in regards to his own activities, it is feared that he will commit or participate in terror crimes.”
Ali Berzengi denied these reports in court.
— Magnus Sandelin