Bashar al-Assad spoke to Expressen about the threat from “Scandinavian” Islamist extremists fighting in Syria and called Scandinavian jihadis “the most dangerous leaders of ISIS” in the region. The battle against Islamic State and other islamist groups in the war torn country has claimed the lives of over 200,000 people and currently is the worst humanitarian crisis since WWII. (Photo: Foreign Affairs’ interview with al Assad, Feb.2015)
It is estimated that approximately 6000 jihadis come from Europe, and there is little or no control with who travels to and from Syria. There is also no collaboration between Syria and Scandinavian countries regarding security.
Syrian President Bashar Assad, in an interview with the Swedish newspaper Expressen, said the threat of terrorism should not looked at as “domestic or as local,” but rather as a global phenomenon, before going on to reveal that “the most dangerous leaders of ISIS (Islamic State or IS) in our region are Scandinavian.”
Assad, who has struggled to remain in power through four grueling years of civil war, and now incursions by IS jihadists as well, warned that Sweden and Europe are at risk of terrorism.
“As long as you have terrorism growing in different European countries, Sweden cannot be safe,” Assad told Kassem Hamade in the Syrian capital, Damascus. “As long as the backyard of Europe, especially the Mediterranean and Northern Africa, is in chaos and full of terrorists, Europe cannot be safe.”