Radical Muslims have been trying to recruit at reception centres for recently arrived refugees, Norwegian Police Security Service (PST) warns.
“We have seen signs that extreme Islamists have approached the reception centres and asylum seekers. They have been there to get contacts. Aside from that, it’s difficult to say what their specific purpose is,” Jørn Presterudstuen from PST told Norwegian news agency NTB.
“We are of course worried about recruitment into radical circles: of course we are worried about every single person that may be recruited by extreme Islamists and their cause.”
Torshov reception centre in Oslo confirms that Islamists have visited and spoken to refugees at the centre.
“We had an incident here with an Islamist who has been in Norway for some years. His message was that the West had helped to destroy his homeland and they had to stand together within Islam. It was very important that they continued to go to the mosque and followed the rules, particularly with regard to women,” the centre’s manager, Hugo Limkjær, said.
When staff at the centre realised that the man was an Islamist, he was removed from the premises.
An employee who did not wish to be named said that asylum seekers from Syria were fearful of the man.
“They were afraid and asked ‘Have we come to Europe?’. They said that they had fled from this, the extremism,” he told Norwegian broadcaster NRK.
Norway has seen a surge in the number of refugees arriving in recent months, with the the Norwegian Directorate of Immigration stating that their previous prognosis of 20,000 to 25000 asylum seekers in 2015 is too low.