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Two with Terrorism Ties Applied for Asylum in Iceland

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Two with Terrorism Ties Applied for Asylum in Iceland

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Icelandic Police Special Forces at work. Photo: RÚV.

Two individuals who sought international protection in Iceland in 2015 and 2016 turned out to have connections to terrorist organizations, according to a new report on the threat of terrorism, published by the analytical division of the National Commissioner of the Icelandic Police, RÚV reports.

The two men have left the country, and no further information will be provided about them, or about how or when they were deported, police say.

The report reveals that Iceland has served as a stopover country for men from North America on their way to and from participation in fights for the so-called Islamic State. Ásgeir Karlsson, from the police’s analytical division, confirms that a few such incidents occurred in the past three years, but wouldn’t provide any further details, citing confidentiality toward cooperating states.

The report estimates that the terror threat in Iceland is medium, which is defined as, “Generally, it is believed that the threat of terrorist attacks can’t be ruled out, due to the situation nationally or internationally.”

Europol, the European Police Office (a support service for the law enforcement agencies of the EU Member States), believes security threats in Europe to be on the increase, and that terrorist attacks committed on the continent in 2015 and 2016 point to a change in intent, targets, methods and the capability of Islamic terrorists.

While the rest of the Nordic countries are threatened by militant Islamists who return home after participating in Islamist attacks in the Middle-East, no Icelandic citizens are known to have been members of terrorist organizations, the report states. Besides, most people who come to Iceland asking for international protection come from peaceful countries, RÚV reports.

The analytical division is not aware that any groups exist in Iceland, supporting militant Islam or other extreme militant views. It does, however, believe it’s possible that in Iceland, planning may take place for terrorist attacks to be launched in other countries.

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