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Hundreds of Swedes went to the war fight for ISIS – Returnees today

Expressen has mapped the returnees, the 150 Swedish suspicious IS terrorists who returned silently to Sweden. Wile they posed openly on Facebook as invincible warriors, often with freaked dead bodies. Today they live as shadows and do everything to avoid being recognized. We have enough problems, say one of them – and refuse to meet. However, during the ongoing offensive against IS, more of the 112 from Sweden who remain in the war – those who are most radical – are expected to return.


The gate to the rental house in one of Stockholm’s southern suburbs is locked. A woman answers the doorphone:

– Who is the one who seeks him, asks the voice.

Her son is one of those who have returned from the war in Syria. He was one of the first to join the Kataeb al-Muhajirin wal-Ansar group (the battalions of migrants and sympathizers). It was in late 2012 and early 2013 when he and several other Swedish citizens went down to Syria and joined the jihadists. Then there was no terrorist group IS. A few joined the Free Syrian Army but quickly switched to al Qaeda before they finally joined IS 2014.

“My son chose to travel to Syria to help people. His goal was to work for a relief organization that helped the syria in place. He was not a terrorist when he went, says the woman.

Her voice echoes in the stairwell.

The son is quiet inside the apartment. He does not want to talk about time in Syria. He just listens and lets his mom bring the conversation.

“My son tries to intimidate what he has been involved in. He does not want to open up old wounds. He has gone through hell and we are trying to help him move on, says the mother.

The young man lives – just like the rest of those who have returned and Expressen contacted – a retired life here in Sweden.

Some of the returnees have chosen to rename. Rarely do they live with relatives or friends, still with their backs turned from the society they left to join the war.

Others have asked for the help of society and have protected personal data. The reasons may be many, but a couple of them have had contact with the Swedish Security Service after returning home.

“It was not as I thought”

– Who are you? You had called?

The voice at the other end sounds sleepy. He has several missed calls on the phone and calls back.

We introduce ourselves and tell us our purpose. The man with the sleepy voice is awaiting.

– It was not as I thought, he says about time in Syria.

He grew up in the suburb of a traditional Muslim family. The roots are in Syria and that’s where he returned three years ago.

Then he was active in social media. Today he does everything to not draw attention.

On July 11, 2014, it then registered 32-year-old  Gothenburg  as a combatant, according to its own documents. According to the notes, he follows the same well-known smuggling path as thousands of other IS followers do at this time, from Turkey across the border to the northern Syrian city of Jarabulus, outside Aleppo.

It is a time when IS and its supporters feel strong winds. Throughout the year, military achievements have come, blows in battle.

IS brutal forces seem unstoppable.

The new year began with Falluja falling into Iraq and coming into the hands of the Islamic sect. Later in spring Raqqa is called in northern Syria to IS “capital”. Mosul, Iraq’s second largest city with rich oil properties, falls.

On June 29, two weeks before several of the Swedes should have traveled to Syria, IS leadership had officially declared a new Islamist caliphate in the vast area the group had undergone in a short period of time. The aggressive sect controls an area that covers one third of Iraq and Syria, populated by eight million people.

According to IS’s own recruitment document, the 32-year-old from Gothenburg takes the warrior name Abu Aisha al-swaidi. The recruiter writes down his education: “unfinished university studies”. His knowledge of Islamic law, Sharia, is described as “simple”.

Experiences of controversy: nonexistent.

But he wishes, according to the notes, assignments as “fighting”.

“I do not have any knowledge of Sharia or war,” he says today when we reach him on the phone.

Sent pictures and invited friends to connect

Another person from Malmö who made the same trip through Jarabulus in May 2014 was a then 24-year-old man with Iraqi Kurdish roots. He is Walad Yousef and is now 27 years old. His name in IS: Abu Salah Al Deen Al Kurdi.


Born in 1990
From Malmö
Must have joined IS in the summer of 2014. Stayed in the IS-controlled city of Raqqa but claimed that he was doing auxiliary work.
Today: Living under protected identity. Saying he’s having trouble getting a job.

“You will never see what happens if you are not on the way of Allah,” he wrote to a friend on Facebook.

Walad Yousef sent pictures to friends in Sweden from a training camp. He invited others to join.

On one of the pictures he proudly poses a Kalashnikov. Another picture shows when he is standing behind a wall of sandbags and shooting with a gun gun against an empty desert landscape.

The environment was surprised when the newly-rescued 24-year-old joined the Islamic state. He had previously been more famous as a local criminal in Malmö, who had been investigating robbery and money-keeping. In his enrollment document, as leaked, he volunteered for warring dressings under the nickname. Last spring he returned home, claiming that he was dedicated to helping vulnerable to the Raqqa IS fixture in Syria.

During the year in Sweden, he has received protected personal data.

“I just want to forget everything,” he says, saying that the journey to the conflict area had an impact on working life.

– I’m looking for a lot of jobs, but I do not get any, because my pictures are out there.

We ask him, and other returnees, to give their own picture of why they joined extremist groups in the war area. It would be good to hear their image because many Swedes are worried about what the returnees should do when they return.

Malmö jihadist is not interested.

– You in the media have scared them. I do not know why they are afraid.

They believe that returning people can be dangerous to Swedish society and that they can conduct terrorist acts and kill people.

– I do not really know that.

He takes a break.

“If I’m going to tell, I have to lie. You will never write the truth.

What do you mean you should lie?

– No, I do not want to do with the media. Now I’m trying to find a job. I’m trying to forget everything. It’s better that we forget, he says.

Posing next to dead people

A 39-year-old man from Malmö, Bherlin Dequilla Gildo, with the alias Abu Dhirar Filibbini, has also returned from Syria. He participated in several spectacular attacks against Syrian regime bases, but has also propagated for violence and murder. The man became famous for his macabre images from the fighting in Syria. Some of the worst he put on social media in December 2012. Then he and a dozen other Swedish jihadists had joined the war in Syria. He poses in human life and writes “It is one of Assad’s dogs”.



Born 1978
From Lund
Armed for Mujahedeen Fi Ash-Sham as one of the first Swedes who went down to battle in Syria. There are pictures where he poses next to war victims. Returned several years ago.
Today: Live under new name in a southern Swedish city.

The 39-year-old humiliates captured Christian Syrians.

Now he is back in Sweden and has shoulder in several hundred thousand. He has changed both the last name and the last name to avoid someone to recognize him.

“There is no one with this name,” says a man who wrote at the same address as the 39-year-old in Malmö.

He turns on and turns off his mobile.

Expressen Middle Correspondent Kassem Hamadé met one of his comrades in Syria a couple of years ago. He said about Bherlin Dequilla Gildo:

– He can do anything. Even I’m afraid of him, says one of those who fought with him.

The municipalities allow a bad overview

The over 150 returnees try to return to a life in Sweden. Recently, SVT was able to reveal that the municipalities your returnees settle in rarely even know how many returnees they have in their area.

“We do not know if any return,” says Christina Kiernan, coordinator of violence-violent extremism in the city of Stockholm, describing the SVT situation as unreasonable.

Nor did Gothenburg have had a large number of IS travelers, and many returnees also state in the same review that they have an overview.

Many returnees are sought by Säpo, some have been taken for small crimes and most do everything to keep a low profile.

But some of the returnees have become well-known names. Like Osama Krayem and Mohamed Belkaid, both were part of the terrorist cell that performed terrorist acts in Belgium.



Born 1992
From Malmö
Posted in January 2015 a picture of himself wearing camouflage jacket, armed with a Kalashnikov and an IS flag in the background. Adhered to the war in Syria and then returned to Belgium, where he is accused of killing 32 people in terrorism councils.
Today: Seen arrested suspected of terrorist robbery in Brussels.

Gothenburg Sultan Al Amin, 31, and Hassan Al-Mandlawi, 33, have been sentenced to life sentences for terrorist offenses after they both are linked to a double kill in spring 2013 in Aleppo, northern Syria. The execution was captured on film and the pictures show how two men get their throats cut off for a collection of jubilant men.

Today, Al Amin is insulated in Kumlabunkern where he has been involved in several conflicts with other residents , considered to be the country’s most dangerous prisoners.

Al-Mandlawi has encountered several inconveniences at the premises in Salberga. A prisoner in December alerted detectives that Al-Mandlawi stole a fruit that was his. When he tried to take back the fruit, he was struck on his back with an open palm, according to the Criminal Care. He was then isolated.

Then he ended up in a new hurdle when he was locked in, just when he wanted a movie milk to eat . He did not get it and became cursed.

“Al-Mandlawi starts screaming and throwing plates to the door, the staff tried to close the door but he held it up with the scrolling tower. The staff was alerted immediately, “says the police department’s decision.



Born 1985
From Gothenburg
Sentenced to life imprisonment for terror crimes by murder in Syria in 2013. Returning later and got a job as a truck driver on Volvo in Gothenburg.
Today: Earns a prison sentence on lifetime in Kumlabunkern for terrorist offenses. Hammered in several conflicts in prison.


Born 1983
From Gothenburg
Sentenced to life imprisonment for terror crimes by murder in Syria in 2013. Was a sniper in Syria and had leading positions in 2012 to 2013. Shot in the head in battle and returned.
Today: Earns a prison sentence on lifetime for terrorist offenses. Hammered in several prisons in prison.

Traveled to Syria with her seven year old daughter

It has been almost three years since IS proclaimed its caliphate. And it is a backward movement that has suffered from major adversities. Both on the battlefield where city after city was taken out of their grip, but also politically. Of the ancient glory of the proclaimed caliphate that would be the beginning of the final subjugation of the entire world’s population, much remains.

And in an apartment in Western Frölunda, the now 34-year-old man is nervous for us to print his name.

“We have enough problems,” he says, and does not want to meet.

In Swedish government documents we can follow his path to Syria. With him down, he had his seven-year-old daughter. And the daughter’s mother desperately tried to get back the girl who just disappeared.

A police investigation was initiated if the girl’s disappearing tracks led first to Germany and soon also Syria.

The mother does not want to participate in any interview but in writing to the district court in Gothenburg, she writes about how the daughter suddenly disappeared from school.

“Since the end of May, the (daughter) and” 32-year-old “have disappeared and the (daughter) is internationally sought after. In their home there is neither (32-year-old) or (daughter) to find, instead, there lives three Foreign men “.

That he really took the daughter to Syria, he confirms now. But he said at the same time that what was happening to them was not what he had expected.

– It was not like I remembered it as a child.

He says that several of the data in the documents leaked from IS are correct, his date of birth, the time of the trip and much more. But he completely denies being battling in Syria or joining the organization.

Therefore, he believes that much of what is being said about him must apply to someone else.

“It’s heaven weird. Anyone can say that I am myself. It’s war like that. Maybe someone recommended me but I do not know, he says.

– I went down to marry. That was what I did. I married and have two children. And now they are in Turkey and can not now come here. They have no passport and no ID card nothing.

“I was everywhere in almost all of Syria. I moved all the time to safer and safer places until I came from there.

It says that you have a desired mission as a battle.

– I do not know anything about that. Actually. Had I wanted war I’d never come back here, right?

There are apparently those who have returned.

“It’s good because they are planning to do something here. If you have decided to war, you will not turn back, so you can not.

“The really dangerous has not come back yet”

The Defense High School recently presented a survey of 267 people from Sweden who joined IS and other militant Islamist groups in Syria and Iraq. According to that, 112 people still remain in the war area, of which 40 percent are women and many are believed to have children they have brought down or fed in place. During the ongoing offensive against Raqqa in Syria, more are expected to try to return to Sweden. It turns out that more people turn to consulate in Turkey, according to terrorist researcher Magnus Ranstorp, one of the authors of the report “Swedish Foreign Fighters in Syria and Iraq”. Standing in place, there may be more radical people who spent a long time under IS.

“The really dangerous has not yet come back,” says Magnus Ranstorp.

“They may be on their way, and the Security will handle them.

He gives examples of Mohamed Belkaid and Osama Krayem, which proved to be dangerous, by those who have returned so far.

“The overwhelming majority do nothing but they are still a risk to the authorities and that has to be addressed. It is important for the police to be able to prioritize this area so that they do not become dangerous to society.

Other returnees


Born 1987
From Kungälv
Has fought in Syria for a jihadist group but returned. Is earlier, 2007, sentenced to over eight years in prison for terrorist offenses.
Today: Seated in Greece after an unsuccessful attempt to return to Syria again.



Born 1985
From Gothenburg

The former football talent Liridon Shasha grew up in Tibro and had varied grades at Fågelviksgymnasiet. Occurs in a propaganda video with other Swedish IS jihadists, many of whom have been killed in Syria.
Today: Registered as emigrated to Syria, but a relative has stated that Liridon and his big brother, who also emigrated in Syria, have settled in Asia.



Born in 1990
From Gothenburg
Struggled for IS in Syria or Iraq and should have been severely injured. He will have returned and then tried to get down again but stopped in Turkey.
Today: Listed by relatives living in Gothenburg.



Born 1989
From Stockholm
One of several friends in the same neighborhood in the Stockholm area who headed down to Syria. Has expressed IS sympathies on social media. There is different information if he is back or not. He has been taxed by the Swedish Tax Agency, but did not respond to the authorities’ requests.
Today: Public Register in the Stockholm area. A family who lived at the address for a year does not recognize his name, or why he is written at the address. “I do not want you to call,” says a relative on the phone.

People who have not returned


Born 1985

From Gothenburg
Convertit in the fall of 2014 moved with his family, wife and four children to Raqqa. Has from Syria been openly propagated for IS and urged people to join the terrorist group in various social media. After the Paris attacks, he attacked social media against Muslims who distanced themselves from the dead.
Today: Spreads propaganda from Raqqa.


Born 1989
From Gothenburg
Hopeed for medical studies in the Czech Republic to fight in Syria. In 2014, released an image of himself when he was in an Iraqi military vehicle after IS stormed Mosul in Iraq. Has announced via his Facebook page that he belongs to the terrorist group. His brother Taha Shade and cousins ​​Omar Shahadeh and Jonas Aref El Hassan have been killed in Syria. A cousin has returned to Sweden. Mostafa received a criminal injunction for the use of cannabis in 2011.
Today: Has stopped updating social media openly. It is unclear where he is.

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