Sweden’s National Job Agency Fires ‘Immigrant Resettlement Assistants’ over Fears They Were Finding Them Jobs–as ISIS Militants
Sara Malm, Daily Mail, February 23, 2015
The Swedish government has been forced to shut down an assimilation guide service after discovering that several aides may have been trying to recruit newly arrived immigrants to ISIS.
The assimilation guides, a service provided by the Swedish state job agency, have been accused of taking bribes from migrant job-seekers and making ‘recruitment attempts to militant fighting groups’.
The state job agency, Arbetsformedlingen, has fired the entire network of assimilation guides with immediate effect following the reports.
‘We have received indication that there have been instances of recruitment attempts or contact-making situations related to various militant fighting groups,’ Arbetsformedlingen’s general director Mikael Sjöberg told Expressen.
A spokesman for the state job agency said Saturday that the alleged recruitment drive might be linked to the Islamic State
The ‘immigrant assimilation guides’ were introduced four years ago to aid newly arrived job-seekers and help them integrate into Swedish society by providing a link to their old culture.
The guides have been working for private companies which, in turn, have been hired by the state-run job agency.
Around 32,000 job-seekers currently have a coach assigned under the scheme.
The decision to shut down the program has been made following a noticeable increase in complains from job-seekers, and several indications of criminal activity, including bribes, fraud, blackmail, threats and possible recruitment activity.
‘It’s to do with loans or gifts, like tablets, mobile phones and sometimes cash, in order to get connected to a specific assistant,’ Mr Sjöberg said.
He added that the Minister of State for Employment, Ylva Johansson, and government representatives have been informed.
The Swedish intelligence service, Säpo, has confirmed that they have been contacted by the state job agency, but have yet to launch an investigation.
‘This is not a common way of recruiting for travels that proclaim violence,’ Säpo spokesperson Sirpa Franzén told Svenska Dagbladet.
‘What we have seen in the past is that recruitment takes place in social situations and via social media.’
Just last month, Säpo confirmed that at least one hundred Swedes have travelled to Syria to join the Islamic State.