A group of Swedish men who have bonded and formed an organization through and because of their love for beards, have been mistaken by authorities as an ISIS terror cell. The group also sports a logo and flag similar to that of ISIS.
A photo shot at a ruined castle for the Swedish chapter of Bearded Villains, an " international brotherhood of elite bearded men" was raided by authorities after a passing motorist mistook the innocent gathering as an ISIS training exercise and rang police rang.
Braehus Castle in Granna is 174 miles southwest of the Swedish capital, Stockholm.
Police say the motorist had seen the 30 Bearded Villains’ black-and-white flag surrounded by a group of heavily bearded men, a scene he had seen many times in news reports of ISIS activities in Syria.
A posting on the Bearded Villains website by Andreas Fransson, says armed police had cautiously approached the group but as soon as the confusion was cleared up, the Villains were free to continue with their hirsute photo shoot and merry making.
Local police told the media that the flag did bear a passing resemblance to the ISIS banner, largely due to its black and white color scheme, but on observing the group of bearded individuals who were "hugging and laughing," in front of a camera, they quickly ascertained the group was just a bunch of men proud of their beards, and not terrorists.
"In the middle of the shoot, two cops show up, telling us they got a call from someone saying that they drove past and saw about 30 terrorists waving a ISIS flag. We had a good laugh with the cops, who had to respond to the call, but quickly saw that we weren't terrorists, out in the middle of nowhere, dressed in formal wear, hugging and laughing," reads Fransson's post.
A review of the Bearded Villains website shows their could not be further from the aims of ISIS. It reads the group is "devoted to loyalty, honor and respect toward all people, dedicated to the betterment of mankind through fraternity, charity and kindness."