The conflict in Syria is made possible by covert state support and a criminal “terror economy” which are sustaining the warring parties. Despite the fact that Damascus lies over 3,000 kilometers away from Stockholm, Syria’s civil war is closer than ever. A large number of Swedish citizens are fighting for terrorist organizations in Syria; some of these combatants are very likely to commit acts of terror upon their return. In 2014 alone, fleeing Syrians representing over half a percent of Sweden’s population applied for permanent residence. The smuggling and human trafficking networks behind this not only account for billions
of Swedish kronor, but also pave the way for illegal trade in contraband goods and weapons. The situation in Sweden also heightens the risk for terror attacks and other crime in our neighboring countries.
In the report Syria and Sweden – A distant conflict with serious consequences in Sweden, Karl Lallerstedt writes about the economic forces behind the Syrian civil war and the effect it has had on Sweden.
Read the original version of the report in Swedish here.
Karl Lallerstedt is co-founder of the Black MarketWatch (www.blackmarketwatch.org), Executive Director of illegal trade, economic and financial crime at the Global Initiative Against Transnational Organised Crime (www.globalinitiative.net), and a member of the OECD Working Group to identify illegal trade. He has previously worked on issues related to illegal trade in the private sector, and as a political and economic analyst.