Ten ethnic Norwegian converts in Syria: NRK

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Ten ethnic Norwegian converts in Syria: NRK
The mother of Amar Ateek, 19, of the rebel Free Syria Army (FSA) mourns during his funeral in Anadan, north Syria, on April 21, 2012 - Freedom House

At least ten ethnic Norwegian converts to Islam are fighting as volunteers in the civil war in Syria, state broadcaster NRK has reported, building on information from Norway's PST intelligence agency.


The channel spoke to a man whose brother had converted to Islam and travelled to Syria.   
"It began with Youtube videos. He folded his clothes, and went only with long clothing and a short beard," the man said.  "He began to read the Quran and would no longer eat pork. He began to concentrate only on religion, and his expression became stricter and stricter." 
According to Petter Nesser, a researcher at the Norwegian Defence Research Establishment, converts are often more radical and extreme than ordinary Muslims. 
"Various studies show that converts in extreme environments may have more to prove just because they come from outside," he told NRK. "In some cases this means that they are radicalized faster and are more extreme than people who come from a Muslim background."
He said their Western passports, and accent-less grasp of languages, made converts useful for extremist groups.  


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