A fifth of Danish jihadist fighters have been to prison

Radicalised criminals high on PET priority list

One out of every five jihadists that travel from Denmark to fight on behalf of terror organisation IS in Syria or Iraq have been to prison, according to a report from the Justice Ministry.

The new figures don't surprise Magnus Ranstrop, an Islamist extremism and terrorism expert from the Swedish Defence Academy.

”It seems like a high percentage,” Ranstrop told Jyllands-Posten newspaper. ”But when you look at the position that most of them occupy in society, such a level is not a surprise.”

”You would actually expect it to be higher, considering the tendency in other countries.”

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

Jihad tourism
Last year, 37 people travelled to Syria or Iraq to take part in ongoing conflicts, while 35 later returned to Denmark. Danish intelligence agency PET has estimated that at least 110 people have travelled from Denmark to take part in the conflicts, while 16 of them have died.

News concerning radicalised criminals surfaced following PET's enhanced efforts with this group in the wake of the terrorist shootings in Copenhagen last month. The deceased shooter Omar El-Hussein was a gang member and had sworn allegiance to IS, according to Information newspaper.

The British magazine the Economist found last year that, per capita, Denmark had the second largest contingent of citizens fighting in Syria of any western country.