Radicalisation by father fear forces Danish boy into juvenile home

Picture taken on November 14, 2014 in Aarhus shows people walking in one of Denmark's poorest neighbourhoods. Danish authorities forced a 15-year-old boy into a juvenile home in an unusual move to thwart Islamist radicalisation, local media reported
Picture taken on November 14, 2014 in Aarhus shows people walking in one of Denmark's poorest neighbourhoods. Danish authorities forced a 15-year-old boy into a juvenile home in an unusual move to thwart Islamist radicalisation, local media reported on Sunday. -- PHOTO: AFP 

COPENHAGEN (AFP) - Danish authorities have forced a 15-year-old Muslim boy into a juvenile home in an unusual move aimed at preventing him being radicalised by his father, a report said on Sunday.

Child care authorities in the town of Aarhus feared that the boy's father might persuade him to travel to Syria to fight with Islamic extremists and placed him into care in September, the daily Jyllands-Posten reported.

The paper said the move came after it emerged that the boy had begun to attend the Grimhoej mosque, notorious for refusing to denounce ISIS (Islamic State in Iraq and Syria) group.

"You cannot force a lone child into care due to a suspicion of radicalisation," the father's lawyer Tage Goettsche told another daily, Berlingske.

Researchers told local media the move was heavy-handed and that a juvenile home might radicalise the boy further through interaction with young criminals.

"You'd typically try to find a foster home," social scientist Hanne Hartoft at Aalborg University told news agency Ritzau.

By late last year Aarhus - a city of only 324,000 residents - sent as many as 30 people to fight in Syria.

Some 110 Danish Muslims, out of a total population of 5.6 million, have joined the fight in Syria, according to intelligence estimates.

Measured per capita, Denmark is the second largest European source after Belgium of extremist fighters going to the Middle East.

The country was shaken by twin shootings in the capital Copenhagen last month, when a gunman killed two people in separate attacks targeting a cultural centre and a synagogue.

The gunman - a 22-year-old Dane of Palestinian origin - had been released from prison two weeks before the attacks after serving a term for aggravated assault, raising fears he may have become radicalised behind bars.