U.S. seeks ways to stop Americans from becoming 'foreign fighters'

Reuters News
Posted: Nov 20, 2014 4:35 PM

(Reuters) - The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has set up a task force to identify ways to prevent Americans from traveling abroad to become "foreign fighters," a problem that the government has said is one of the nation's top security concerns.

The task force, which was disclosed Tuesday in the Federal Register, will also examine whether current security policies are adequate to prevent the return of "foreign fighters" who have been trained overseas.

FBI Director James Comey said on Tuesday that his agency is tracking close to 150 Americans that it believes traveled to Syria in recent months, potentially to join armed groups.

He said Americans fighting with foreign jihadist groups were a top concern for the FBI because of the possibility they could return to the United States with the training, expertise and connections required to launch an attack on home soil.

(Reporting by Jim Finkle; Editing by David Storey, Bernard Orr)