Those who leave Finland to fight in Syria could end up banned from the country, according to Interior Minister Päivi Räsänen. She’s asking ministry officials to look at implementing restrictions on travel, residence and other rights fighters might have in Finland.
”The Interior Ministry is currently investigating whether it can if necessary broaden bans on entry to people who have left Finland and are abroad,” said Räsänen in a ministry press release.
Räsänen said in the statement that numbers of returnees are increasing and that they could pose a threat to Finland. Yle reported on Thursday that the ministry is also preparing a programme to reintegrate returnees from the Syrian conflict.
She also cited UN Security Council resolution 2178, which asks member states to prevent people travelling to join foreign terrorist groups. In practice, that is difficult for any government to enforce.
Räsänen said that it was important to ensure that security forces had enough tools with which to prevent radicalised Muslims travelling, but that it is difficult to act without sufficient information. She said that the ministry will soon request additional funding to enable the Finnish Security Intelligence Police Supo to send an officer to Turkey.
A CNN report earlier this year found that a relatively high proportion of Muslims in Finland had left to join the war in Syria. Four people were charged last month in a terror case that involved Finnish Muslims travelling to Syria.