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.