Swedish Authorities Detain Somali Cleric for Suspected Terrorism involvement

The leader of a mosque in Tyresö, Sweden, aged 60, has been apprehended for alleged involvement in a terrorist group. The Somali imam volunteered at the mosque, instructing children and teenagers affiliated with a Muslim cultural organization.

Heading the mosque since the early 2000s, the imam served as the association’s chairperson for a time. Swedish security services SÄPO conducted an investigation resulting in the arrest, subsequent to a raid in March where four men in their twenties were taken into custody.

Two of the individuals, who converted to Islam, are now under arrest for suspected terrorism preparation and severe weapons violations. The other two are part of a well-known criminal syndicate. TV4 reported that some of the suspects have been under law enforcement scrutiny since September of the previous year.

Despite the SÄPO spokesman withholding details regarding the terrorist organization the five suspects belong to, a colleague previously claimed links to the Islamic State group. The Muslim cultural association overseeing the mosque received around €85,000 in taxpayer funds from two governmental programs.

Isak Reichel, head of the Authority for Support to Religious Communities, emphasized the gravity of the arrest due to its potential impact on public trust in government funding and the reputation of innocent congregations. The Swedish Muslim Association informed TV4 that they have suspended the mosque’s membership and refrained from disclosing further details due to SÄPO’s involvement.

Representatives from the Tyresö Muslim cultural association expressed shock over the situation and declined to provide insights on their mosque’s alleged ties to terrorism. Recent events in Sweden coincide with Islamist rallies in Hamburg and reports of clandestine mosques in Italy serving as breeding grounds for extremists, fueling concerns over radicalization and ‘Islamophobia.’

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