Most Danish foreign fighters are men aged below 30 and come from a major city

Many of them were company owners, reveals new analysis

Demographic analysis of the ‘foreign fighters’ who have travelled from Denmark to take part in the conflicts in Syria and northern Iraq has revealed that a great majority of them are young men under the age of 30 who come from Copenhagen or Aarhus.

A total of 77 people have been identified with the help of social media, geolocation, public records and militant Islamist sources, although the Danish intelligence agency PET estimates at least 135 Danes have joined the conflicts in the Middle East.

In a joint project, DR and Politiken journalists analysed the background of 77 fighters, including their age, ethnicity and address.

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

Many converts
They found that almost a fifth (14) have a Kurdish ethnic background, but a surprisingly-high number of them (11) are ethnic Danes converts.

This places Denmark as the EU country with the largest proportion of convert fighters in Syria, according to the International Centre for Counter-terrorism.

“Certain aspects of extremist circles cater specifically to the converts’ psychological needs for recognition, meaning, excitement, social acceptance or the prospect of a new identity,” Milan Obaidi, a researcher from Uppsala University, told Politiken.

Certainties: death and taxes
DR has also reported that 16 out of the 77 fighters were or still own a total of 40 companies, and some of them owe the Danish state millions in taxes.

Some 27 fighters have already been killed in the civil war conflicts and six have been imprisoned.