17:40 GMT01 March 2021
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    Violence Erupts as Islamic State Rises (1881)
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    The program to de-radicalize Danish jihadists, a joint effort by police and social services in Danish second largest city Aarhus, aims to help who travel to Syria and Iraq to take part in the conflict, reenter society as productive citizens.

    MOSCOW, December 5 (Sputnik) — The program to de-radicalize Danish jihadists aims to help foreign fighters, who travel to Syria and Iraq to take part in the conflict, reenter society as productive citizens, Toke Agerschou, who heads the crime prevention effort told Sputnik Friday.

    The program is a joint effort by police and social services in Danish second largest city Aarhus. The issue of foreign fighters is especially acute for Aarhus, with more than 30 young people leaving the city in 2013 to fight in Syria.

    "In our work the approach is to promote the persons potential for inclusion in the community, improve their life skills and positively impact on their network – the goal is to eliminate the risk of violence and include the person into society again as an active and participative citizen," Agerschou said.

    "Radicalization is a very complex process, and to fight radicalization you need to identify "the elements". Is it lack of education? A bad upbringing? Religious or political beliefs? Social awkwardness? Criminal background? It can be none and it can be all," Agerschou added answering a question on why Denmark has such high number of radicalized citizens in general and Aarhus in particular.

    According to Agerschou, the program was launched in 2007, when the police and the city "formulated a policy to prevent radicalization and discrimination in Aarhus due to challenges with political extremism (right wing)."

    "The circumstances in Syria and Iraq have meant that as part of our efforts we developed contingency plans for dealing with travelers to Syria," the head of the program added.

    The so-called jihadists rehab includes "individual counselling and advice" for people who plan to go to Syria to participate in the conflict or those who have come back, as well as for their family members.

    Denmark has one of Europe's highest rates of foreign fighters going to Syria or other countries in the Middle East to fight or engage in conflicts on the side of the jihadists.

    According to the Danish Security and Intelligence Service, roughly 100 Danes have participated in the Syrian war and nearly 50 have returned to Denmark.

    Violence Erupts as Islamic State Rises (1881)


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