Assad: 'most dangerous' Isis chiefs are Scandi
Published: 17 Apr 2015 08:42 GMT+02:00
Syrian president Bashar al-Assad has blamed Norway and other
Scandinavian countries for producing "the most dangerous leaders of
Isis in our region", in a video interview with Sweden's Expressen
New Norwegians take top roles in Isis jihadi group (12 Feb 15)
Assad said countries like Norway had only themselves to blame for
their homegrown Isis fighters, as "European officials" had for years
been "selling their values and allowing the Wahhabi dark ideology to
infiltrate and be instilled in some communities", in exchange for
money from "countries like Saudi Arabia and Qatar" .
“The most dangerous leaders of Isis in our region are
Scandinavian…that’s what we have as information," he added.
Lieutenant General Kjell Grandhagen, the head of the Norwegian
Intelligence Service, in February said that several new Norwegian
citizens had risen to "middle management functions" within Isis,
although the most prominent Norwegian Isis commander, Bastian Vasquez,
a Norwegian Chilean from Bærum, was reportedly killed in the Autumn.
“There are still several Norwegians who hold leadership positions in
Isil,” Grandhagen told the Dagbladet paper. Among then is a Norwegian
Eritrean from Skien, who was also last summer reported to have become
an Isis commander.
Assad said that he had warned at the start of Syria's civil war that
it would ultimately lead to terror attacks in Europe and beyond.
"They didn’t listen, so what happened was warned of before, and what
we saw in France, in Charlie Hebdo, the suicide attempts in
Copenhagen, in London, in Spain, ten years ago, this is only the tip
of the iceberg."
More than 215, 000 people have been killed in Syria's four-year war,
which is increasingly dominated by jihadist groups.
“You have ups and down, you have wins you have losses and that
depends on many criteria,” Assad said of the long-drawn-out conflict
between his government forces and rebel groups. “We are still running
More than 11 million Syrian have been forced from their homes since
2011, when pro-democracy protests against President Assad's government
erupted and the country slid into civil war.
Many Norwegians fighting for Isis were first radicalised by the
Profetens Ummah group, which is centred around Østfold, Vestfold and
Telemark, near Oslo.
The Norwegian Intelligence Service estimates that there are now 150
Norwegians fighting in Syria and Iraq.
Received on Sun Apr 19 2015 - 12:49:31 EDT