Denmark may have to accept return of Isis militants: report

Danish citizens captured in Syria after fighting for the Islamic State (Isis) terror group may be sent back to Denmark, according to a report.

Denmark may have to accept return of Isis militants: report
Rubble in the former Isis stronghold Raqqa. Photo: REUTERS/Erik De Castro/Scanpix Denmark

Statements made by Defence Minister Claus Hjort Frederiksen suggest that Denmark may be required to accept the return of citizens who have fought for the group, reports broadcaster DR.

Several hundred Isis fighters are currently imprisoned in Syria, where the movement has gradually been subdued in recent years. A number of the captured individuals are Danes.

“We are working on finding out how many there are. We must then take a look at their cases,” Frederiksen told DR Nyheder.

The minister's statements come after a meeting between countries taking part in a military coalition against Isis, including Denmark. The United Stated reportedly made it clear it would prefer home countries of the militants to take them back.

Around 150 Danish citizens have joined militant religious movements in Syria and Iraq since 2012, according to DR's report.

Frederiksen told the broadcaster he would prefer them to go on trial in the countries where their crimes were committed.

“They have beheaded people, raped women and children and sold people. For me, it is paradoxical for those militants to now claim Western norms regarding protection of rights,” he said.

“I think it's pathetic for those people to ask to be given the safety in Western countries that they so despicably wanted to defeat,” he added.

But the minister added that the Syrian coalition partners the Syrian Democratic Forces, an alliance of predominantly Kurdish forces, should not be left with sole responsibility for dealing with the issue.

“We must not let down an ally by trying to leave everything at their door. We must therefore look at cases specifically,” he said.

READ ALSO: Danish man loses passport for fighting for Isis

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Six arrested in Denmark raid for suspected Isis links

Six men suspected of being members of the so-called Islamic State (Isis) group or funding it were arrested in an anti-terror raid in Denmark on Tuesday, police said.

Six arrested in Denmark raid for suspected Isis links
File photo: Mads Claus Rasmussen/Ritzau Scanpix

The suspects, whose identities were not disclosed, are aged between 27 and 35, police in East Jutland said.

Two of the suspects were arrested in the Danish capital Copenhagen and the four others in Aarhus, Denmark’s second-biggest city.

“Two of the people arrested, a man aged 29 from the region of Aarhus and a 30-year-old man living in Copenhagen, are suspected of penal code violations… for having travelled to Syria in 2014, where they were recruited by the terrorist organisation Islamic State,” police said in a statement.

The 29-year-old is also suspected of having tried to return to Syria in early 2015 to rejoin Isis.

Under his instruction, the four other suspects are accused of having acted as “intermediaries” and having sent money to the organisation.

According to Danish intelligence service PET, at least 160 people have travelled from Denmark to fight in Syria or Iraq. About a third of them have been killed in action, 32 are still there and around half of them have either returned to Denmark or another country.

Jihadism is considered the biggest threat to Denmark’s national security, according to PET.