The number of Islamist extremists in Sweden has risen tenfold, the Swedish Defense College wrote in a new report on the Islamist threat commissioned by the Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency (MSB). The report was called “one of a kind” as it mapped out the jihadist environment in Sweden and its methods of influence.
According to the report, named “Between Salafism and Salafic Jihadism,” the number of Islamist extremists has grown tenfold over the past decade.
In less than a decade, Sweden’s extreme Islamist environment has grown from 200 members to 2,000, with Salafism playing a vital role in the spread of violent Islamism in a number of Swedish cities, including Gothenburg.
In the report, Salafism is described as a literal interpretation of Sunni Islam and an anti-democratic ideology with a demand for total submission to God’s will.
Senior terrorist researcher Magnus Ranstorp stressed the previous lack of studies on the Salafist-jihadist ideology in Sweden, emphasizing that Salafist missionaries are proactive in social media, using websites such as YouTube and Facebook to reach out to new audiences.
“Salafism has in some cases proved to be the foundation of jihadi extremism. All Salafists are not jihadists, but all jihadists are Salafists,” the report said, estimating that the Salafist propaganda has spurred more Swedish citizens into joining various jihadist movements, predominantly in the Middle East.
The Defense College highlighted the extensive support to the…