Danish Jihadis Find Loophole To Get Gov’t Funding To Fight For ISIS

REUTERS/Murad Sezer/File Photo

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Jacob Bojesson Foreign Correspondent
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Several Danish Islamic State fighters in Syria claim disability benefits long after leaving the country, and there’s nothing authorities can do to stop it.

The Danish Security and Intelligence Service (PET) has identified several cases of Danish citizens receiving early pension because they were deemed too sick or disabled to work. They later left the country to fight for ISIS while the payments continue to get deposited into their accounts.

“It is a huge scandal that we disburse money from the welfare fund in Denmark for people who go to Syria,” Employment Minister Troels Lund Poulsen told the Berlinske newspaper. “Staying in a war zone and directly or indirectly taking part in military operations is not something that is in any way compatible with receiving disability benefits.”

PET has tried to cut off the benefits since 2014, but current legislation doesn’t allow the payment agency to cut early pensions simply because the recipient is believed to be a terrorist.

“The legislation does not give Payments Denmark the ability to stop payment of a pension simply because PET provides information that the recipient is participating in the fighting in Syria,” Payments Denmark’s deputy director Carsten Bodal told Berlingske. “The rules allow you to stop paying, for example, if the recipient is on the run from detention, or if they violate the general rule for international travel for early retirees.”
PET is now pushing for a parliamentary bill to make it easier to block the payments.

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