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Police launch investigation into Finnish-Syrian aid worker

Finland's National Bureau of Investigations (NBI) has begun a probe into the activities of Finnish-Syrian aid worker Rami Adham.

Adham was interviewed by Yle in June as an eyewitness to a blast at Istanbul airport in June. Image: Yle

The National Bureau of Investigations (NBI) has launched a preliminary investigation into activist Rami Adham's activities. Detective Chief Superintendent Tero Haapala of the NBI told Yle that police are considering whether Adham's online postings may constitute hate speech, and also the fate of money collected in Finland for Syria.

The NBI says that some donors are concerned that money collected has not gone to the intended targets.

Adham denies the allegations. He returned to the headlines this week when online postings came to light in which he made aggressive comments about Kurds and Shia Muslims.

Several days of preliminary investigation

Police are to investigate those as possible incitement, and also allegations from donors that Adham may have misused funds raised in Finland for Syrian aid efforts. News of the police investigation was first reported by Finnish commercial broadcaster MTV.

Haapala says the preliminary investigation will take several days, at which point police will decide whether to go ahead with a full-scale investigation.

"We're now quickly collecting this information and will then see whether there are ground to suspect [him] of crimes on their basis," he said.

No probe of injury claims

At this point police are not considering allegations that Adham faked being injured in Syria. According to a report in the newspaper Helsingin Sanomat on Friday, Adham lied about his injury in an effort to gain media attention and entice Finns to donate more money, purportedly for Syrian orphans.

"That is perhaps more ethically or morally questionable behaviour, if these claims about being injured are indeed true. In and of itself, that is not at the forefront our probe at the moment," Haapala said.