Seven men from Denmark, Sweden and Norway travelled to war zones last year to kill themselves – and others.
International terror researcher Magnus Ranstorp said the men, however misguided, see themselves as heroes.
“Suicide bombers see themselves as the front line of defence for their Muslim brothers and sisters,” Ranstorp told Norway’s Aftenposten newspaper.
Ranstorp, who leads the EU’s Radicalisation Awareness Network, said that even more young people are hearing the call of extremism.
“There is a culture among certain groups that glorifies death more than it does life,” he said.
Heaven is waiting
Ranstrop said the promise of heaven and fame given by older extremists was what lured impressionable young people to leave some of the most secure countries in the world to travel to war zones and commit such atrocities.
A man known as Abu Sa’ad al-Denmark claimed that he would commit a suicide bombing near Mosul in Iraq this year, according to Berlingske. The last part of the name he has give himself means ‘of Denmark’.
Abdulrahman Ahmed Haji, a 26-year-old Danish-Somali man blew himself up at a hotel party in Mogadishu, Somalia in 2009. Haji had disguised himself as woman wearing a veil. At least 24 people, including members of the Somali government, were killed in the attack. More than 60 more were injured. The man had lived in Denmark for 15 years before taking his deadly trip.
Security agencies say young Somalis and more and more Muslims are abandoning the safety and comfort of their homes in the West to join the ranks of extremist groups.