Denmark and Sweden
The Crime-Terror Nexus was delighted to launch its paper on the crime-terror-nexus in Denmark and Sweden at Swedish Defence University in Stockholm.
The objective of this working paper is to present an overview of links between crime and terrorism (the crime-terror nexus) in Denmark and Sweden, highlight potential risks, and make a series of recommendations for how such risks can be mitigated.
Though illicit activities are notoriously difficult to measure, the presence – or notable absence – of links between crime and terrorism can be seen in two areas:
- In areas of high crime and social deprivation, where jihadists with criminal pasts have leveraged criminal skills and connections for the purposes of terrorism;
- In Danish and Swedish prisons, where there is the potential for prison radicalisation and “networking” between criminals and extremists, though the authorites are housing and monitoring a relatively small number of radicalised inmates.
While there is no inherent or automatic link between socio-economic conditions and involvement in terrorism, it seems clear that jihadist “delinquency” in Denmark and Sweden has occurred in some of the same geographical areas and demographic pools from which “ordinary” delinquency has emerged as well. Rather than further marginalising and excluding those areas, there needs to be a serious and honest discussion about the extent to which state and civil society can address the social conditions in which extremist narratives and ideologies resonate.