Polish media on Monday led with the story of a Polish national living in Norway who was arrested in Poland on terrorism charges, after having spent several months in Syria fighting on behalf of the “Islamic State” group. The 26-year-old man was apprehended in the central city of Lodz. A spokesman for the local public prosecutor’s office told a news conference he could face up to six years in prison.
In the wake of the Paris terrorist attacks, the case – and the implication that IS was already active in Poland – focused the anxieties of many ordinary Polish citizens on immigration from non-European countries and how it might affect them personally. The former liberal cabinet of Prime Minister Ewa Kopacz agreed to accept 7,000 immigrants. It also pointed out that in the 1990s, 80,000 Chechens found a home in Poland and were successfully integrated into Polish society.