Finland says extremism not a problem

Finnish_flagThe Finnish Interior Ministry has said that it doesn’t view extremism as an issue in the country at present. The ministry said that 20 people have gone to join the conflict in Syria and that, although fighters who return to the Scandinavian country may be more likely to engage in acts of violence in the future, it doesn’t consider violent extremism as a major threat.

It said in a statement regarding violent extremism in Finland that, according to a press release, one Finn and another person who resided in Finland have been killed while fighting in Syria.

The press release followed an article by Finnish publication Turun Sanomat last week that claimed hundreds of extremist jihadists are currently living in Turku. That report was followed by a provocative blog by a Finns party MP stating that the Koran teaches Muslims to kill Jews and non-believers.

However, the ministry noted that in the first seven months of 2013, police had arrested about 30 people for extremism-related crimes, adding that most of them were connected to far-right groups.

The ministry believes people from across Europe have travelled to Syria to join the conflict, and that around 20 people, maybe more, have headed to the Middle Eastern country from Finland.