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Paper: Iraqi asylum seekers offer to help police find terror threats

The newspaper Savon Sanomat reports that Iraqi asylum seekers have pledged to inform police if they suspect terrorist activity among fellow asylum seekers.

Autot ajavat liikennevaloristeykseen sadekelissä.
Downtown Kuopio. File photo. Image: Toni Pitkänen / Yle

In the wake of last week's attacks in Paris, the Kuopio-based daily newspaper Savon Sanomat spoke with Iraqi asylum seekers who pledged they would report any terrorism or Islamic State-related activities among fellow asylum seekers.

One asylum seeker told the paper that his decision to come forward was an expression of trust in the Finnish police and said he would cooperate for the safety of the people of Finland.

The threat of terrorist cells is a growing worry among many asylum seekers, the paper wrote, even more so after last week's attacks and the recent revelations of an Islamist terror network investigation in Italy.

Repercussions of Paris attacks

Iraqi asylum seeker Naji Habib told the paper the attacks in France caused him to be more alert to the situation.

Habib, who now lives at the Levänen reception centre in Kuopio, said he previously worked in the security field and actively follows international discussions on the subject of extremism and terror.

"We intend to contact authorities when we receive information that, for example, we have suspicions of terrorist activities at the reception centre," Habib told the paper.

Habib also said that it is in everyone's interest that the EU and Finnish authorities to monitor the situation carefully and to examine all people arriving to the country.

At the same time, the paper writes, many Iraqis fear that the Paris attacks could adversely affect all asylum decisions going forward.

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