Norway's Government Collapses Over Dispute on ISIS Bride Returning to Country
Populist Progress Party pulls out of coalition government as terrorist returns from Syria
Norway's coalition government has collapsed over a dispute about whether to allow an ISIS bride to return to the country from Syria.
The populist Progress Party withdrew from the Norwegian coalition Monday after the terrorist mother was permitted repatriation so her son could receive medical treatment in Norway.
After fleeing Norway to join the Islamic State terror group in Syria, the 29-year-old and her two children have been living in the Al-Hol camp - the detention center which held notorious British ISIS bride Shamima Begum.
Prime Minister Erna Solberg says she will attempt to continue with a minority government comprised of her Conservatives, the Christian Democrats, and the centrist Liberal Party.
Siv Jensen, leader of the Progress Party, said that "the cup is now full" after the decision to allow the woman to return to Norway and receive free medical treatment.
Jensen says her anti-immigration party was not consulted on the decision.
Ms. Jensen added that when Solberg's coalition expanded a year ago to include the liberals and the Christian Democrats, veering more to the center and becoming a majority government, "enthusiasm dropped."
"Over time, politics was too much based on compromises," said Jensen, who is Norway's outgoing finance minister.
Prime Minister Solberg said she "understood" why the Progress Party wanted to leave her coalition government, adding she would seek cooperation with the party - which is Norway's third-largest.
Norway's next parliamentary election is scheduled for September 2021.
To stay in office until then and pass legislation in the 169-seat parliament, Solberg needs the support of parties outside the government, including the Progress Party.
The Norwegian woman of Pakistani descent reportedly traveled to Syria in 2013 and married a Norwegian ISIS fighter there who was later killed in while fighting for the terrorist group.
The terror bride was formally arrested Saturday upon her return and was placed in an Oslo hospital with both children.
Jensen said many believed that the woman, who has not been named, "used her child as a shield to come back to Norway."
"There are many ... who are displeased by this, not just in the Progress Party," Jensen said last week.
The mother refused to let the sick child travel alone to Norway, which then allowed her to travel from the Kurdish-controlled camp at Al-Hol where all three had been detained since March 2019.
"A majority in the government believed that concern for the child was paramount," Solberg said.
Solberg has been prime minister of the Scandinavian country since 2013 when she formed a coalition with the Progress Party.
The parties won renewed support in the 2017 elections.