A row is brewing in Sweden over a proposal to fund programs which help returning ISIS “warriors” reintegrate with society.
One such program is already in place in the country’s Örebro Municipality, where jihadists are now being offered psychological help to overcome traumatic experiences they may have suffered while fighting in Iraq and Syria.
Expressen reported that councilor Rasmus Persson wants to be able to offer returning ISIS soldiers jobs, to help prevent the alienation they feel and may have been the original reason behind their decision to join up.
He told regional news program Tvärsnytt:
“We have discussed how we should work for these guys who have come back, and to prevent them from returning to the fighting, and that they should be helped to process the traumatic experiences they have been through.”
Not surprisingly, the news that ISIS vets were to get publicly funded aid caused a stir, even in a country famous for its socialist policies. But Sweden’s official coordinator against violent extremism, Mona Sahlin, supports taking the movement national and has been quoted as saying she wanted to impose tax aid for immigrants who fought with ISIS.
Now a Swedish soldier has become the focal point of the debate after
“In a few months, I’m back in Sweden after being deployed in Afghanistan, against Talibans and others who have really jeopardizing development in this very sore country,” Frederick Brandberg wrote.
“There is no permanent job waiting for me when I come home.”
Sweden currently has 500 soldiers committed to the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force.
On Monday, the Armed Forces told The Local that what happened to soldiers who returned home from war was “no longer our business”.
Brandberg calls his post “Utmaningen” or, “The Challenge”.
“It would be wonderful if I was met with a comparable program after my homecoming, after which I could feel safe in having a regular job, with monthly income and a social stable situation in the society where I wouldn’t need to wonder whether I’m wanted or not,” he wrote.