More than half of Danish ISIS fighters were paid benefits while fighting

More than half of those who left Denmark to fight for the Islamic State still received benefit payments after they left the country, it has been revealed,

The Danish Police Intelligence Service admitted that at least 84 out of the 150 jihadis who left to join the caliphate after 2012 continued to receive unemployment and disability benefits while they were abroad.

Troels Lund Poulsen, the Danish Employment Minister, said: “It shouldn’t be possible to be able to travel out of Denmark and take part in a conflict where you’re fighting against Danish values. So now we have ushered in a new law that will stop that in the future.”

The Danish People’s Party’s Chairman, Peter Skaarup, said the situation was “totally grotesque”.

“It’s horrible that so many people almost get paid to be at war on the taxpayer,” he added.

Morten Bødskov, a politician from the Social Democrats, told TV2: “We simply do not understand what the Minister is doing.”

He added that he plans to force the Minister into explaining each case individually, saying he wants to know “the reasons why these people obviously still have public support (payments) while they have been at war against Denmark – outside the country’s borders?”

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Intelligence services estimate that at least 50 jihadis have returned to Denmark. Only around a quarter are believed to have been killed. The rest are unaccounted for. European governments need to get a grip and fast.