The Swedish security services have been given the green light to start registering individuals they believe are sympathetic to Isis (Daesh) and other extremist groups. Security police, known as the Säpo, inquired to the Swedish Data Inspection Board whether or not such a programme of registration would contravene legislation in the country meant to protect private information.
The inspection board has ruled that expressing sympathy with the terror group or other like-minded organisations could not be described as sensitive personal information, thelocal.se reported.
"The Data Inspection Board's conclusion will allow us to further streamline our work. We will be able to register relevant tips and will be able to get a better overall picture of the people we follow," Säpo press secretary Simon Bynert told the Swedish daily Svenska Dagbladet.
The police service said registering those with Islamic State sympathies did not constitute registering individuals on the grounds of their religion.
"The Data Inspection Board's conclusion will allow us to further streamline our work. We will be able to register relevant tips and will be able to get a better overall picture of the people we follow," Säpo press secretary Simon Bynert said.
The registration will be introduced for organisations classed as terror groups by either the UN or EU. All such organisations ask their supporters to carry out crimes in their name.
Swedish authorities estimate that anywhere between 120 Swedish men and women have joined Isis. Many of those who have travelled to the area have taken their children with them while others have given birth in the country. A rough estimate shows that there are at least 60 Swedish children in Isis territory, according to SVT.
After Belgium, Sweden has the second highest number of combatants per capita from Europe fighting for Isis. In 2014, head of the Swedish Intelligence Service Anders Thornberg, said of the hundreds of reported cases of radicalised Swedes campaigning in the name of Daesh, more Swedish citizens were believed to have gone to the Middle East – at around 32 fighters per million of the population.
"A hundred cases of people who have left to join the fighting have been confirmed. Then there are the presumed cases and then there are those who have not been counted," Thornberg told Swedish public radio.