Between 10 and 30 percent of foreign fighters who travelled to Iraq and Syria to fight for the Islamic State have returned to their countries of origin, according to a report by the Committee of the U.N. Security Council on ISIS and al-Qaida as reported by the Russian news agency RIA Novosti.
The report highlights the growing threat posed by these returning jihadists, some of whom may attempt to carry out terrorist attacks in their home countries.
“Some returnees have left conflict zones after they were disappointed in ISIS and changed their minds about the conflict,” the report states. “In the assessment of the member States, they are in the lower part of the spectrum of risk, while some persons have returned with the specific intention and the willingness to commit terrorist attacks, as evidenced by the attacks in Paris and Brussels.”
The report also states the international police agency Interpol has a database of some 7,000 names of foreign fighters among the estimated 30,000 foreign fighters currently in Iraq and Syria.
For more information on the Islamic State, see Clarion Project’s Special Report: The Islamic State (ISIS, ISIL)