By Chris King •
Updated: 29 Nov 2023 • 18:50
Image of Cordoba International School in Kista, Stockholm.
Credit: Cordoba International School on Facebook.
TWO kindergardens have been placed under investigation in the Swedish capital of Stockholm after claims that their students were at risk of radicalisation.
The decision that was made this Wednesday, November 29, follows yesterday’s move by the School Inspectorate to close an elementary school in Stockholm.
After a statement from Säpo, the state Security Police, the Cordoba International School in Kistathat, which is run by the company ALM Education, had its permit withdrawn.
Säpo stated that several employees and people in management positions had been in contact with violent Islamists. One person on the board of one of the group’s associations had allegedly previously worked for an Islamist terrorist organisation abroad. These opinions were partly based on intelligence information, svt.es reported yesterday.
ALM Education also owns two kindergardens in Mångården, Stockholm, which have capacity for a total of 185 children.
Viktoria Ruggieri, a lawyer at the pre-school administration in Stockholm city, commented: ‘When the school inspectorate came to this decision, based on Säpo’s opinion, we were also contacted and have therefore started an investigation’.
‘We are currently at the collection stage where we need to process the information. If the kindergardens also need to be closed, we will come back with a message’, Ruggieri added.
Both of the educational facilities said to be under investigation today had been previously inspected on several occasions by the pre-school administration in the spring of 2020.
Ruggieri informed the news outlet that the information which emerged at the time was that the preschools were teaching with confessional elements, i.e. of a religious nature.
‘According to the School Act, preschoolers are not allowed to do this in teaching. This was followed up, and after a few visits, the school responsible took the measures’, she explained.
Ulla Parkkinen, the founder and CEO of ALM Education told the publication that she was completely unaware of Säpo’s suspicions and that the school closure came as a shock to her.
‘It goes without saying that the kindergardens are also affected by the same suspicion from the Security Police, they are the same owner and the same board’, Parkkinen insisted.
She emphasised that: ‘We had no idea that we would have employees there who would have those connections’, while pointing out that they worked actively against radicalisation through regular dialogue with parents and social services.
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Originally from Wales, Chris spent years on the Costa del Sol before moving to the Algarve where he is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news.
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