How should Sweden deal with IS returnees?

A study carried out by the Swedish Defence University shows that the number of young people leaving the country to join the IS has dwindled to almost zero. At the same time many former fighters are returning home. But that doesn't mean the problem of Islamist extremism is over by a long shot, Sweden's press warns.

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Dagens Nyheter (SE) /

Treat IS perpetrators like Nazi war criminals

The declining numbers don't mean that everything has gone back to normal, Dagens Nyheter warns:

“The IS fighters return to the same radicalised environments they left and continue to represent a threat. Forgetting and getting on with things is not an option for society. IS killings have left so much evidence behind. Countries like Sweden face a long and laborious task and mustn't rest until they have investigated all the facts and punished the perpetrators. Just like after World War II, the Western democracies have a responsibility to obtain justice for the victims of terror and to prevent these crimes from being forgotten. Even today old Nazi war criminals are still being tracked down and prosecuted. Why should the IS henchmen be treated any differently?”

Aftonbladet (SE) /

Fight exclusion and inequality

Aftonbladet also sees the need for urgent action:

“We know that three-quarters of those who have joined the IS from Sweden grew up in problem neighbourhoods. We also know that most of them were born in Sweden, and that many come from a difficult social background. If we want to stop the recruitment of extremists we have to do more than just take care of isolated cases, we have to tackle exclusion and inequality in general. The state has appointed a national coordinator against extremism. The Red Cross has set up an emergency helpline. Some municipalities have developed action plans. ... Nevertheless we still lack a coordinated approach to dealing with extremist fighters.”