Al-Shabab recruiting in Sweden

According to Swedish secret police (SÄPO) at least twenty Swedish-Somalis are suspected to be “radicalized”, and some of them are to been killed in action in Somalia.

Sydsvenska Dagbladet (independent liberal) reports that Swedish Somalis are worried about al-Shabab activity in country. The 28-year old who made an attack on Danish cartoonist Kurt Westergaard two weeks ago is reported to have been in Sweden together with another Danish-Somali man who was later killed in a suicide attack in Mogadishu in December 2009. Al-Shabab is suspected to have been recruiting in Sweden’s three main cities – Malmoe, Gothenburg, and Stockholm – where the largest Somali populations are to be found.

According to Göteborgsposten (liberal) the two men visited two mosques in Gothenburg last winter, and Expressen (liberal) reports a mosque in the Stockholm suburb of Rinkeby has been visited by representatives from the organization. Abdi Rahman Sheik Muhjadin, Imam in a “liberal Muslim” congregation on Gothenburg, says he’s not surprised that al-Shabab has been coming to Swedish mosques and as a precaution, he continues, they won’t let their children attend Qur’an school for the time being, in fear of them being misguided.

Farah Absisamad, chairman of the Swedish Somali National Union, is calling for stricter laws against terrorism to prevent al-Shabab’s activity in Sweden.

Mosque shooting in Malmoe, Sweden

The mosque at Islamic Center in Malmoe, Sweden was subject to a shooting on New Years Eve. Someone shot through a window into a room with a handful of people. No one was hit, but one imam was injured by shattered glass from the window.

Bejzat Becirov, founder and vice president of Islamic Center, believes the attack was aimed at the mosque as such and not towards any specific person. Swedish police are regarding the shooting as attempted murder.

Libyan organization takes over Scandinavia’s largest mosque

Ownership of the largest mosque in Scandinavia – Islamic Center in Malmoe – has been taken over by the Libyan organization World Islamic Call Society.

The mosque was in heavy debt after an arson incident in 2003. The founder and chairman of the Islamic Center, Bejzat Becirov, says he could see no other options than to take the offer from the Libyan organization – which also contributed to Islamic Center when it was founded in the early 1980s.

Professor emeritus Jan Hjärpe believs this can be an attempt to counter Muammar Khaddafi’s bad reputation amongst many Muslims in the diaspora. Hjärpe doesn’t believe the change in ownership will effect mosque activities.