A Danish man who joined Daesh in Syria and who is consequently serving eight years imprisonment in Spain has revealed that he was working for Denmark’s intelligence services.
The 30-year-old Danish national, Ahmed Samsam, travelled to Syria “several” times in order to join the terror group under the authorisation and direction of Denmark’s Police Intelligence Service and Defence Intelligence Service, as was reported in the Danish newspaper Berlingske yesterday.
According to several sources who informed the paper, it was confirmed that Samsam was indeed recruited by the Danish intelligence services in December 2012 before being sent to Syria in February 2013.
These assignments, in which he received up to 20,000 Kroner ($2,975) per month as well as military training, continued all the way up until late 2015, after which he was arrested by Spanish authorities on the Costa del Sol in 2017.
“I wanted to help prevent a terrorist attack in Denmark. I have a family that uses public transport, which is at high risk of being hit by terror,” he told the paper.
Samsam has said that Danish authorities were well aware of his travels and assignments to Syria, and that they had guaranteed that he would not be punished upon his return.
The subsequent arrest of Samsam has therefore reportedly angered some in Denmark due to the country not having immediately informed Spain of his case.
Among those calling for Denmark to take action to return him is the member of parliament Karina Lorentzen Dehnhardt – part of the Socialist People’s Party – who urged for Samsam to be helped.
The case comes amid increasing debate over the transfer of imprisoned Daesh fighters back to their home countries which they left, with many reportedly being regretful of joining the group and wanting to return following the military defeat of the group over the past two years.
Both Turkey and US President Donald Trump have called on European nations to take back their fighters due to their responsibility towards their citizens, but they have long been concerned over the security risks of such a move, suspecting that there are former fighters who feign regret in order to carry out attacks within their home countries.