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Interior Minister: 300 asylum seekers in Finland have links to terrorism

Interior Minister Petteri Orpo said on Thursday that the arrest of two Iraqis on suspicion of eleven murders in Iraq shows that Finnish law enforcement is up to the task. Orpo added that according to Finnish intelligence, some 300 asylum seekers in Finland have some link to terrorism.

Petteri Orpo
Interior Minister Petteri Orpo. Image: Milla Vahtila / Yle

Finland’s Interior Minister says that some 300 asylum seekers in Finland have some link to terrorism. He made the comments after Finnish police detained two Iraqis in the Forssa area on suspicion of murdering 11 air force cadets in Tikrit, Iraq during an ISIS offensive.

ISIS published videos of the massacre online, and the perpetrators faces were not masked.

According to Interior Minister Petteri Orpo, the arrests show that Finnish law enforcement is up to the task of preventing terror plots in Finland.

"In my opinion if the police have detained a person suspected of crimes, it shows that our agencies work," said Orpo. "The Security intelligence police (Supo) and the National Bureau of Investigation work."

300 with terror links

He added that there are hundreds of people here with links to terror groups.

"According to Supo there are 300 with links to terrorism," said Orpo. "Not 300 terrorists, but they have some kind of link. They are being followed closely."

Premier Juha Sipilä, meanwhile, said that the government is actively looking at ways to deport asylum seekers found guilty of crimes.

"We could perform deportations quicker when it’s a person suspected of serious crimes," said Sipilä before correcting himself. "Or rather convicted of serious crimes. A suspicion cannot be grounds for deportation."

In that case, according to Sipilä, convictions must happen in Finland for a deportation decision to be valid.

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