KaPo: no increase in terror threat, Estonian citizens fighting in Syria known (2)

Policemen by the Uppsala Mosque in Sweden. The photo is illustrative.
1/9/2015 1:22 PM
Category: Politics

The Estonian Internal Security Service (ISS or KaPo) said that the local Muslim community is largely peaceful and they have not detected any increase of extremist threats.

“It is clear that any excuse to commit acts of terror against human lives can not be justified and the perpetrators must be caught and sent to face a trial,” Harrys Puusepp, a spokesman for ISS, told uudised.err.ee.

He said that radical Islamists and nonviolent Muslims are very different and the tiny Muslim community in Estonia is mostly peaceful, adding that the ISS is doing all in its power to stave off attacks, but no one has managed to counter all such attacks in the civilized world.

Andres Ratassepp of ISS, told Eesti Päevaleht, the Estonian citizens who have gone to fight in Syria for the Islamic State are known to them. The agency confirmed in mid-November that one Estonian citizen has left for Syria, now KaPo said more than one person has gone to fight.

He said the men do not pose a threat to Estonia right now, but if or when they return, the situation could be different as they have then been trained in combat techniques and in explosives.

Estonia has about 3,500 Muslims, mostly people of Azerbaijani background or Tatars who have lived in Estonia for centuries. Ratassepp said in the last decade immigrants from North Africa and Middle East have settled in Estonia and the number of converts has increased to around 200. He said converts are more rigid about religion.

M. Kuul, J.M. Laats

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