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Swedish Jihadists Exposed, Daily Publishes Names

ISIS boot camp graduation
ISIS boot camp graduation

SWEDEN — Stockholm-based daily Aftonbladethas identified and mapped an extensive list of Swedish citizens who have traveled abroad to support the terror group ISIS. "The Swedes Who Wanted To Die For Terror," reads the front page of Scandinavia's most read daily.

Aftonbladet said it chose to publish the list, complete with names and photos of the individuals, because the terrorist sympathizers "despise the thought of a democratic society and because these people have been trained to kill, and may be potential terrorists — right here among us."

The investigative piece comes after two Swedish citizens were arrested Friday in the Greek city of Alexandroupolis for their suspected jihadist links.

Of the 77 people on the list, 25 are believed to be dead, 11 have returned to Sweden, and 20 are women, who Aftonbladet's analysts believe are meant to populate the Caliphate and foster the next generation's jihadists. The Swedish Security Police (SÄPO) estimates that a total of 286 people have traveled from Sweden to Syria to support ISIS.

Sweden has been roiled by rising tensions over immigration and security in recent weeks, with plans to deport thousands of failed refugee applicants. Unconfirmed reports over the weekend said that anti-immigrant groups were set to mount attacks against immigrant youths.

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Economy

Russian Diamonds Are Belgium's Best Friend — But For How Much Longer?

Belgium has lobbied hard for the past year to keep Russian diamonds off the list of sanctioned goods. Indeed, there would be a huge impact on the economy of the port city of Antwerp, if Europe finally joins with the U.S. and others in banning sale of so-called "blood diamonds" from Russia. But a 10th package of EU sanctions arriving this month may finally be the end of the road.

Photo of a technician examining the condition of a diamond in Antwerp, Belgium

A technician examining the condition of a diamond in Antwerp, Belgium

Wang Xiaojun / Xinhua via ZUMA Wire

Since Vladimir Putin's invasion of Ukraine, the European Union has agreed to nine different packages of sanctions against Russia. With the aim to punish Moscow's leadership and to cripple the war economy, European bans and limits have been placed on imports of a range of Russian products from coal, gas and steal to caviar and vodka — were successively banned over the past 11 months.

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Still, one notable Russian export is a shining exception to the rule, still imported into Europe as if nothing has changed: diamonds.

Russian state conglomerate Alrosa, which accounts for virtually all of the country's diamond production (95%) and deals with more than one-fourth of total global diamond imports, has been chugging along, business as usual.

But that may be about to change, ahead of an expected 10th package of sanctions slated to be finalized in the coming weeks. During recent negotiations, with 26 of the 27 EU members agreeing on the statement that ALSROA’s diamonds should no longer be imported, the one holdout was not surprisingly Belgium.

The Belgian opposition to the ban is explained by the port city of Antwerp, where 85% of the rough diamonds in the world pass through to get cut, polished, and marketed. There are estimates that 30,000 Belgians work for Alrosa.

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