ISIS fighters fleeing the Middle East and returning to Europe to seek new job opportunities are struggling to find jobs, the Swedish daily newspaper Expressen reported.
The newspaper interviewed several of the 150 ISIS members returning to Sweden from the Middle East and asked them how hard it was to find jobs.
“I just want to forget everything,” 27-year-old Walad Yousef told the Expressen. “I apply for a lot of jobs, but I can’t get any because my pictures are out there.”
According to the newspaper, Yousef sent pictures of himself at a training camp to friends back in Sweden. In one of the pictures, Yousef is posing with a Kalashnikov rifle.
One of the returning ISIS members refused to do an interview with the newspaper, and said that he has “enough problems” finding a job.
Others said that they left for Syria to help civilians, despite leaked records obtained by the Expressen that said they went to the Middle East to join ISIS.
One former ISIS member denied being a part of ISIS, and said that the newspaper was in contact with the wrong person.
“That’s very strange. Anyone can say they’re me,” Hassan Al-Mandlawi said. “I mean, it’s war. Maybe someone recommended me, I don’t know.”
Sweden is one of the many European countries struggling to deal with terror attacks. Many of their citizens have left the country to join ISIS.
“The vast majority do not do anything, but they are still a danger to the authorities and it must be managed,” terror researcher Magnus Ranstorp told the Expressen. “It is important for the police to be able to prioritize this area so that they do not become dangerous for society.”