More fighters going from Denmark to Syria than most other Western nations

According to the Economist, Denmark ranks second top per capita

(photo: Stephen Wright)
September 3rd, 2014 9:51 am| by admin
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Per capita, Denmark has the second largest contingent of citizens fighting in Syria, according to rankings of the Western countries compiled by British magazine the Economist.

The Danish intelligence service, PET, estimates that about 100 Danes have travelled to Syria to fight in the civil war, TV2 News reports.

Only Belgium had a higher per capita representation than Denmark, while other Nordic countries such as Norway and Sweden occupy fifth and tenth place respectively.

Alarming numbers
In Berlingske Nyheder, Thomas Hegghammer, a senior scientist from the Defence Forskningsinstitutt in Norway, described the Danish participation in the Syrian conflict as "alarming".

He said the numbers indicate that Muslims in Denmark are far more radicalised than in other European countries.

Not all the Danish citizens who choose to go to war in Syria support the extremist group Islamic State (IS). But according to analysis in the Economist, many Westerners are attracted to join IS because they want to fight for the creation of an Islamic caliphate.

Women also join the conflict
The vast majority of the Western warriors who go to Syria are men under 40 years. However, the war has also attracted far more women than before.

Peter Neumann, who works at the British think-tank International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation, estimates that 30 percent of the Western warrior women come from Sweden.

According to the Economist, some of them hope to marry, while others join all-female units to ensure that women in areas under IS control obey the strictest version of Islamic rules. 

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