Concern over Islamist letters sent to Muslim inmates

PET is watching an Islamist group involved in the Syrian Civil War that wants to write letters to Muslims in Danish prisons

The radical salafist group Kaldet til Islam (Called to Islam) wants to write letters to imprisoned Muslims, calling for them to "return to their god".


"We have many Muslims in Danish prisons that are getting off track, so we thought we would write letters to these inmates and remind them of Allah,” Kaldet til Islam wrote on its Facebook page. “They have plenty of time to read so we thought it would be a great way to take advantage of this situation." 


The request comes at the exact same time as the emergence of a martyr video praising the group’s leader, the 34-year-old Shiraz Tariq, who in the video is reported as having been killed in the Syrian Civil War.


Michael Fønss, the head of security at the nation’s prison system, Kriminalforsorgen, said that it would not interfere unless the content of the letters is inciting extremism.


“Normally we don't interfere with what people write to our inmates as long as the content of the letters is not illegal, and as long as the letters don't encourage to violent extremism. We are collaborating with PET on this and it is something we are keeping a close eye on," Fønss told Berlingske newspaper. "Our wardens are educated to observe and report when they notice suspicious behaviour in the prisons."


PET is watching radical Muslims

The justice minister, Morten Bødskov (Socialdemokraterne), would not comment on the specific letters but warned that the domestic intelligence agency, PET, is investigating the case and may interfere if the letters incite terrorist actions.


"We know that there are radicalised individuals in Denmark, and PET is keeping an eye on these people and their circles – both inside and outside prison walls." he told Berlingske. "If someone is inciting terrorism or other criminal activities in the letters, authorities are allowed to interfere."


Tariq fought in Syria

According to the video, Tariq was killed in Syria while fighting for the jihadist group Jaish al-Muhajireen wal-Ansar, which is made up of more than 2,000 foreign fighters.


Aron Lund, the author of several Swedish Foreign Ministry reports on foreign fighters in Syria, told Berlingske that the group attracts martyrs.


“The group consists almost exclusively of foreign fighters and it is very extreme," Lund said. "It is known for performing suicide missions and if you fight for them, it is your goal to become a martyr."


Tariq’s group, Kaldet til Islam, received a lot of media attention recently after another member, Abu Khattab, posted videos from Syria calling for Danish Muslims to join him in the civil war.


READ MORE: Islamists point their guns at Danish Critics


PET estimates that 65 Danes have travelled to Syria to participate in the civil war. The director of PET, Jakob Scharf, has said that the issue is one of the most serious national security risks at the moment, because the militant groups may use their international connections to carry out terror attacks against Western countries.


Watch the martyr video here.