"We are committed to this work. The unit's number may be small, but the focus should not be on numbers. This is a very capable, competent and highly qualified unit," said Swedish Defense Minister Peter Hultqvist.
The Swedish Army's contribution of a specialist training unit to the American-led effort directly reflects the Swedish government's desire to allocate military resources to both help to fight and counter ISIL's influence in the Middle East, and the threat posed by ISIL fighters heading back to Sweden and Scandinavia.
Sweden continues to implement new security measures to both deter radicalized Islamic Swedish nationals and non-national residents from leaving the country to join ISIL. National security and military intelligence agencies are being given broader powers of surveillance to monitor the activities of suspected ISIL combatants returning to Sweden.
The Swedish Ministry of Justice is also examining a proposal to criminalize certain actions, such as the booking of travel tickets to the Middle East, in cases where a proven link can be established between actual trips and joining extremist Islamic groups such as ISIL.