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Government to build on anti-extremism strategies

New strategies to tackle online recruitment by extremists and young people heading into combat abroad


Three Danes are thought to have died after travelling to Syria to fight (Photo: Scanpix)

January 10, 2014
18:24

by PS


The government is strengthening its efforts to tackle extremism and radicalisation following an evaluation of its current initiatives.

The Social Affairs Ministry said in a press release that the evaluation demonstrated that current initiatives have made an impact, but that they need to be built upon.

The ministry now wants to find new strategies to tackle the online recruitment by extremists, extract young people who do join extreme communities, and prevent young people from heading into armed conflict abroad – so-called foreign fighters – in countries such as Syria.

READ MORE: PET warns about Danish fighters returning from Syria

Security challenge
“It has been proven that Denmark is facing challenges with both right wing and left wing extremism as well as militant Islam,” wrote the minister for integration, children and social affairs, Annette Vilhelmsen (SF).

“These environments can present a security challenge as well as present social and integration challenges. That is why the government is prioritising a qualified early prevention strategy, while also being aware that when the damage is done and people are recruited to extreme social environments, we need to offer them the correct support to help them leave these negative communities,” Vilhelmsen added.

To determine how to proceed, the Justice Ministry and Social Affairs Ministry have decided to establish a working group to write up a new action plan.

READ MORE: Government to tackle online radicalisation and 'foreign fighters'

High priority
“All forms of extremism, in which people or groups attempt to push their views through violence or other illegal acts, present a threat to our democracy,” Justice Minister Karen Hækkerup (S) wrote.

“That is why fighting extremism has always been one of the government’s highest priorities. So I am happy that, with the creation of the working group, we can ensure our strong efforts are strengthened even further,” she added.

Domestic intelligence agency PET estimates that around 65 Danes have travelled to Syria to fight in the ongoing civil war, and three are thought to have been killed



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