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JIHADISTS

Denmark to strip jihadists of nationality amid fear of returns

Denmark said Monday it planned to strip dual-national suspected jihadists of citizenship to stop them from returning to Danish soil, as Turkey's deadly offensive in Syria sends Isis members fleeing.

Denmark to strip jihadists of nationality amid fear of returns
Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen at last week's C40 World Mayors Summit. Photo: Ida Guldbæk Arentsen/Ritzau Scanpix

“These people turned their backs on Denmark and used violence to fight against our democracy and freedoms. They constitute a threat to our security. They are undesirable in Denmark,” Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen said in a statement.

The Social Democratic government's initiative, which is backed by a majority of parties in parliament, would involve stripping the citizenship of dual nationals while they are abroad, with only an expedited administrative decision.

Until now, a court ruling was needed.

“There is a risk that the Kurdish-controlled Isis camps in the border region collapse, and that foreign fighters with Danish citizenship make their way to Denmark,” Frederiksen said.

The expedited bill will be considered by parliament in the coming weeks and could be adopted within a month.

In early September, Denmark's justice minister said there were 36 jihadists who had travelled from Denmark to fight in the region.

Among them, 10 had their residency permits withdrawn and 12 had been jailed.

In March, under the previous government, Denmark adopted a law depriving children born abroad to Danish jihadists the right to citizenship.

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POLICE

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.

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