Security Police moves on two persons over going to war in Syria

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Latvia's interior police force, the Security Police, has started criminal proceedings against two people suspected of participating in the Syrian armed conflict. 

That's what Līga Pētersone, spokeswoman for the Security Police, told LETA newswire Wednesday, reported LSM.

Pētersone confirmed that one of the two persons is Oļegs Petrovs, former head of the Latvian Islamic Cultural Center.

Petrovs was revealed by the TV3 channel last week to be potentially participating in an armed conflict as a video had surfaced of Petrovs, apparently in a Middle Eastern country, encouraging Jihad and praising the terrorists who attacked the Charlie Hebdo satirical weekly last year.

Previously Petrovs was the first to announce that sociology student Māris Bergholds may have become a jihadist. "[..] He has in all likelihood become the first Latvian shahid," wrote Petrovs on the website in 2012 after Bergholds had gone missing.

The Security Police didn't confirm or deny whether the second person against whom proceedings were started is Bergholds, who in 2003 came to prominence after being imprisoned in Iraq where, he later claimed in a book, he was abused by American soldiers.

After he had gone missing, Bergholds contacted his mother for the last time in October 2013, when he was 33 years old. In all likelihood he had joined an extremist group.

Another Latvian who may have joined extremists in the Middle East is 21-year-old Mārtiņš, surname not revealed.

The stories of how the two young men may have become extremists can be read here

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