Norway’s PST is Worried on Radicalization of Youth through Syria

In the wake of an increasing number of young Norwegians travel to Syria to join the war, the police security agency of Norway, PST’s chief Benedicte Bjørnland calls the community to take responsibility for preventing radicalization.

Talking in a radio program in NRK, Bjørnland expressed her concern about the increasing number of Norwegians who go to Syria. Only last weekend, two Norwegian sisters of Somali origin were reported missing after they went to Syria.

PST estimated that recently 30-40 people have traveled from Norway to Syria to join in fight. The authorities are especially concerned about the experiences these people have in Syria.

Bjørnland suggested that they can get in contact with extreme networks and terrorist organizations, participate in fighting and expose themselves to great danger, and learn how to handle weapons. In addition, there is a strong concern about what can happen when people come back to Norway.

People who do not have a mission to do something concrete in Norway, they will be like war veterans. Such people may have heavy trauma after seeing and participating in the bloody war. Thus, such people can be very dangerous, according to PST chief.

Having pointed out the potential danger, Bjørnland reminds that it is society’s responsibility to monitor radicalization symptoms.

– We do not want to deny our responsibility, but our mandate is to monitor people who may have intention to use violence to advance their extreme viewpoint, explains Bjørnland.

PST boss specifically requests persons who work with young people to help their efforts. Bjørnland envisages that teachers, health professionals and staff in child welfare must interact with the police and parents.

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