SWEDISH JIHADISTS BACK IN BUSINESS

In the September 28, 2009, edition The Weekly Standard reported on M-M Ghezali, the suspected terrorist freed by the United States in 2004. He had been detained during the battle of Tora Bora by Afghanistan and handed over to the American military. After intense lobbying of the Swedish prime minister Goran Persson (socialist) Ghezali was after being a prisoner at the detention facility of Guantánamo Bay freed and flown back to Sweden on the government’s private Gulfstream jet. In Sweden he achieved “rock star status”. The justice minister in Sweden’s then socialist government did not want to prosecute Ghezali in Sweden. The story of the suspected terrorist faded from the headlines.

The new non-socialist government in 2007 interceded on behalf of Safia Benauda. She had been arrested and detained by the Ethiopian military. She was accused of waging jihad in Somalia. Her mother is chairman of the Muslim Council in Sweden. After release she claimed that she had been tortured. Both Ghezali and Benauda were in the left-wing press described as two innocents who wanted to study fundamentalist Islam but they were not connected.

Now in September 2009 both were arrested in Pakistan according the military carrying US 50,000 dollars in cash, maps in which Western embassies were marked and every fundamentalist student’s best friend, an explosives belt. Thus both are again arrested on terrorism charges.

“Jan Guillou, a bestselling spy novelist…shrugged that Ghezali’s “strong political interest in Islamist activism” is understandable, considering the time he spent in an American “concentration camp.” (It is perhaps worth noting that Guillou’s record of political prognostication is rather unimpressive. He wrote a book in 1977 praising the “stable” regime of Saddam Hussein, arguing that the conditions in Abu Ghraib surpassed those in Sweden’s notoriously indulgent penal system, and predicting that by 2000 Iraq’s economy would outpace most countries in Western Europe).

This time the now non-socialist government is proceeding with great caution. Little can be done for the suspects in Pakistan and Sweden’s Foreign Minister Carl Bildt said that the Foreign Ministry would probably not work overtime for the terrorist suspects.

It has certainly not helped that Oussama Kassir, a Swedish citizen, was sentenced to life in prison for attempting to set up an al Qaeda training camp in Oregon. In Sweden there does not seem to be to great an interest to have Kassir to serve out his sentence in Sweden where a life sentence is not life. He would be out in no time.

The Weekly Standard is recommending that should Sweden demand Kassir’s release the American Justice Department make sure that he serves out his full sentence. The question after the latest arrests in Pakistan is: how much control is there in Sweden on the groups that support terrorism? Is there a recruiting office or even training camps? Sweden’s record is seems not to be the best.

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