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A Norway Town and Its Pipeline to Jihad in Syria

FREDERIKSTAD, Norway — The real trouble started when they stopped causing trouble. Torleif Sanchez Hammer and his friends — all residents of the same small cluster of clapboard houses in southern Norway — had been having run-ins with the police for years but then suddenly halted their marijuana-fueled gatherings in the basement apartment of Mr. Hammer’s widowed mother.

Police officers in this placid Norwegian town had busted their marijuana parties so regularly that “we knew them all on a first-name basis,” recalled Ragnar Foss, head of a local police unit responsible for youth crime. But, two years ago, they cleaned up their act. “We wondered what had happened but were glad when they dropped off our radar,” Mr. Foss said.

  • Jason

    Remember when if someone “got religion” it was at worst annoying? “Repent and fall on your knees, sinner!” “Ah, OK, Joe. Whatever you say. Gotta’ go!”
    Now they just want to saw your infidel head off.

  • adam

    It’s amazing that the NYT actually published this piece, although they are careful to make the distinction between the local “moderate” mosque and radicals from Oslo.

    What’s even more astounding, however, is the apparent incompetence of the Norwegian police and security services. They don’t seem to know anything about the “Prophet’s Umma” recruiters or mosques. Any decent force would have fully infiltrated this organization by now. They’d know who the leaders and recruiters were, from where the financing came, how Jihadists were relocated to Syria and so on.

    The only other explanation is that the police turn a blind eye because they want these youthful troublemakers to die in Syria. Is that plausible?

    • Drunk_by_Noon

      Trust me, the Norwegian security forces are not that organized.
      They are simply as clueless as they appear.

      • adam

        I guess so. Very interesting that non-Muslim kids find it so easy to “revert”. When people lead meaningless, state-controlled, ambition-free lives, they naturally look for something “deeper.” Enter the Islam.

        • Kent Inge Olsen

          I live in Fredrikstad and work with youth at a youth-center right were these guys came from. Most of the young people who lead meaningless, state-controlled, ambition-free lives, don’t seek out Islam. They usually just get a job. Very seldom do they seek out religion. Maybe that is changing.

  • BillyHW

    But there is reverse pipeline that’s bringing them falafal and lousy cab rides. So it all evens out.