Islam 101 turned him.
The more the inner mohamed is scratched, the more likely the person doing the scratching becomes intolerant and lethal.
The Finnish Security Intelligence Service estimates that are some 200 people in Finland who have contacts with violent groups abroad.
Most of these individuals have links to extremist Islamist organisations, says Chief Inspector Tuomas Portaankorva of the Finnish Security Intelligence Service (Supo). Interviewed by the Yle TV1 programme A-studio on Monday evening, he said some Finns have contacts with leaders of terrorist groups overseas.
Portaankorva says about 40 people have left Finland to fight in Syria, including native-born Finns.
Yle’s A-Studio journalist Kyösti Hagert recently interviewed Faisal Ali Warabe, a resident of Finland and a former presidential candidate in his native Somalia. He has identified himself as the father of a Finnish jihadist who recently appeared in a propaganda video by the militant fundamentalist group that now calls itself Islamic State.
Warabe says he contacted Finnish police in the past to report fears that his son was becoming radicalised. He said that his son may have been encouraged to join the extremist militant group by his cousin — a Somali-born Espoo resident who reportedly died fighting in Syria earlier this year. The interview took place on July 4, with Warabe speaking from Hargeisa in Somaliland. Excerpts from the interview transcript follow.
“The internet caused my son to change”
Q: How did it feel when your son became an extremist?
A: I was extremely shocked because I was not expecting this from him. I cannot conceive what compelled him to do this. If I have to guess, [it was because] I was busy from 1992 with our country’s, Somalia’s issues. So I can say that the father’s role model was lacking.
Q: Are you disappointed by what your son has done?
A: I was deeply disappointed, I was even shocked.
Q: Earlier you told me that your son was reserved and a friend of the Finnish people. What happened then; why is he changed or what changed him?
A: First, it has been about three years since he has been practicing the religion. He started in 2010. It means that he is deeply schooled in the religion. Second, he used the internet and this is the place that caused my son to change. The Somali religious scholars in Finland are very good scholars and they try to shield them from extreme elements by keeping the Somali youth in hand.
Q: Today you said to me “I am giving parents a warning to be aware of what their children are doing and monitor their children’s time in the mosque”. Why?
A: First of all, when I look at Finland, it is an open country whose openness even extended to hiring religious teachers for the Somalis and for other Muslims as well. So I cannot see any reason that would drive our children to become radicals when they [the Finns] treated us so well. In my understanding the problem arises because [Somali] parents are not monitoring their children as well as they [Finnish parents] monitor theirs and not limiting the time that the children are in [Koranic] school. When [youngsters] say ‘I’m at school’, [parents] assume that they are in a safe place as it used to be and they cannot know who they’re in contact with. So I would like to tell parents to keep an eye on their children, particularly Somali parents should monitor their children. When they are using the internet, [parents] have to know what websites they are logging into or browsing. I know I was away from my son and I think my absence caused this problem.
Q: But going to mosque or to pray can’t turn someone radical or extremist?
A: First, the issue is not limited to Somalis in Finland or in Europe. A while ago I read in your newspapers that 40 people left Finland, 16 of them are originally foreigners and 24 native Finnish people who converted to Islam. This is a general phenomenon which is not only specific to us. After seeing this trend, it would be wise to keep an eye the children in the religion, the children that were previously brought into the religion to protect them from extremists, after we have seen the results of radicalism.