Author: Loulla-Mae Eleftheriou-Smith
Posted: 27/ 12/ 2016
Denmark’s government is attempting to recover thousands of pounds’ worth of benefit money from dozens of people who have fled the country to join Isis in Syria.
At least 34 people who are understood to have left Denmark to join Isis as fighters have continued to receive unemployment benefit, according newspaper Ekstra Bladet.
The newspaper filed a Freedom of Information request to Denmark’s employment ministry and found that 34 of the fighters had received the state unemployment benefit known as ‘kontanthjælp’. Two people had been recipients of ‘dagpenge,’ a private unemployment benefit that is heavily subsidised by the state.
Employment Minister Troels Lund Poulsen told the newspaper he would be taking immediate action.
“It is totally unacceptable and a disgrace. It should be stopped,” he said.
The Ministry for Employment is demanding repayment from 29 of the Isis fighters and attempting to recover a total of 672,000 Danish Krone (£77,095). The ministry has not indicated why it is not seeking refunds from seven of the individuals.
This is not the first time people receiving state help in Denmark have travelled to Syria to join Isis while still being paid benefits.
In May last year a total of 32 people were identified by Denmark’s Security and Intelligence Service (PET) as having received unemployment benefits while joining the terrorist group.
An employment ministry document seen by Danish radio station Radio24syv stated that a total of 378,000 Danish Krone (£43,358) had been paid to the individuals.