Sweden expels Finnish citizen on suspicion of terrorist connections
North-African born man denies allegations
A Finnish citizen of North African origin was expelled from Sweden last year because of suspicions of links with a terrorist organisation. Officials also permanently banned him from entering Sweden.
The decision was based on a statement by SÄPO, the Swedish Security Police.
Documents delivered to Helsingin Sanomat by the Swedish Ministry of Justice allege that the man is a leading member of a radical Islamist group which operates in Sweden.
According to a SÄPO statement, as long as the man is in Sweden, he and his organisation will continue to support and finance international terrorist organisations.
The statement also stipulates that there is reason to believe that the man would commit a crime of terrorism, or that he would help in the commission of such a crime.
According to SÄPO, the 40-year-old man is a well-known figure radical Islamists in the Nordic Countries. Helsingin Sanomat learned that SÄPO also suspects that he earned his status while spending time in Afghanistan in the 1990s.
The man himself told Helsingin Sanomat about his deportation from Sweden, insisting that he has had no contact with terrorists, and feels that Sweden has violated his human rights.
He says that he moved to Finland in the 1990s to be with his Finnish girlfriend, whom he later married. They have since been divorced.
He became a Finnish citizen in 2000.
He has a child with a Swedish woman, from whom he is also divorced. He has visited Sweden many times to meet his friends and his daughter, who is now eight years old.
The chain of events leading up to the expulsion started in March last year when he was visiting his daughter in Sweden again.
“The Swedish Security Police grabbed me on the street. Before that I had not had anything to do with the authorities”, he insists.
After he was detained, the man was told of the deportation and the ban on re-entry into Sweden. He was told to leave Sweden within a week.
He did not agree to the deportation and appealed the decision. The appeal process took more than five months, and was kept imprisoned in Sweden through the entire appeal process.
The man demanded to see the evidence against him, and insisted on being charged in open court.
“If I have done what SÄPO says I have done, and am a leader of a terrorist group, then charge me and put me in jail”, he says.
However, Swedish law allows deportation on the basis of mere suspicion of involvement in terror. This suggests that the police did not have enough hard evidence against him to make charges stick.
Swedish law also does not oblige SÄPO to let the suspect see all of the evidence it has.
The man says that he asked the Finnish Embassy for assistance, but to no avail.
The Swedish government confirmed the deportation decision in July last year. A month later SÄPO escorted him by plane to Helsinki.
He appealed the expulsion order to the European Court of Human Rights, which did not find anything improper in the Swedish action.