In 2013, 66 Danes travelled to Syria or Iraq to either fight alongside or against the terror group Isis. In 2014, the number was nearly halved to 37, radio programme P1 Oreintering reported on Monday.
PET’s numbers cover both those who join Isis and those who hook up with Kurdish or Shia Muslim groups to fight against the terror group. According to the intelligence agency however, a vast majority of the Danes have chosen Isis’s side.
Last week, PET said that at least 115 Danes have become foreign fighters in Syria and Iraq since Syria's civil war broke out five years ago. Of those, at least 19 were killed in action.
Per capita, Denmark is the second largest European source after Belgium of jihadist fighters going to the Middle East.
PET’s Centre for Terror Analysis (CTA) released a new terror assessment last week, saying that the threat against Denmark is “serious”.
“CTA believes there is a continued terror threat against Denmark from people who return home from the conflict in Syria/Iraq,” the head of PET, Jens Madsen, said in a press release.
CTA’s director, Søren Jensen, said that Isis’s influence reaches Denmark even without Danes travelling to physically join them.
“We assess that there are still people who join the militant Islamic environments in Denmark and that within those environments there is widespread sympathy for ISIL [alternative name for Isis or the Islamic State, ed.],” Jensen said in a press release.