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Report: ISIS Fighters Returning Home After Leaving Caliphate

Report: ISIS Fighters Returning Home After Leaving Caliphate
(Massimo Percossi/AP)

By    |   Thursday, 26 October 2017 04:47 PM

At least 5,600 people from 33 countries have now left ISIS's so-called caliphate and returned home, a new report from the nonprofit Soufan Center has found.

The highest numbers of foreign fighters who have gone to Syria or Iraq have been from Russia, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Tunisia, and France, the report found.

The October report revealed about half of the fighters from the United Kingdom, 425 out of 850, and Sweden, 126 of 300, are returned to those countries, while just 10 percent of the fighters from Russia, 400 of 3,417, for example, or former Soviet republics have gone back. The report said 271 of the 1,910 fighters from France have gone home.

According to the report, seven of 129 fighters from the United States are back home.

Some countries in Southeast Asia have seen the return of not only their own citizens, but also the arrival of ISIS fighters who have chosen not to go back to their own countries, the report found.

"While returning foreign fighters have not as yet added significantly to the threat of terrorism around the world, the number of attacks inspired or directed by the Islamic State continues to rise," the report stated among its key findings.

"All returnees, whatever their reason for going home, will continue to pose some degree of risk."

ISIS kept detailed records of the fighters who joined, and those records — plus captured computers and cellphones — have helped the U.S.-led coalition fighting the group create a profile of its membership, Business Insider noted.

Nearly 20,000 names have already been shared with Interpol, BI reported.

ISIS's success in attracting foreign recruits might help sustain the group in the long-term, if not as a cohesive group, then as an inspiration for others, the report suggested.

"It is highly likely that even as the territorial caliphate shrinks and is increasingly denied an overt presence, its leadership will look to supporters overseas, including returnees, to keep the brand alive," the report stated.

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The nonprofit Soufan Center reported at least 5,600 people from 33 countries have now left ISIS's so-called caliphate and returned home – and "all returnees, whatever their reason for going home, will continue to pose some degree of risk."
caliphate, soufan center, foreign, fighters
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2017-47-26
Thursday, 26 October 2017 04:47 PM
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