Contained: Foreign Fighters Flocking to Iraq and Syria For ISIS Have Doubled

Katie Pavlich
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Posted: Dec 08, 2015 9:00 AM
Contained: Foreign Fighters Flocking to Iraq and Syria For ISIS Have Doubled

The "contained" ISIS "jayvee team" has been doing some serious recruiting over the past year. According to a new report, the number of foreign fighters flocking to Iraq and Syria to help fulfill the ISIS caliphate has doubled. 

From Libya to Norway, the number of foreign fighters traveling to Syria and Iraq to fight for the Islamic State terrorist group has more than doubled in the last 18 months, according to a new intelligence report released Tuesday, suggesting that efforts to stem the tide of travel in that respect have not been successful.

The Soufan Group's June 2014 assessment estimated that 12,000 people had traveled to Syria to fight for ISIL. In its new report, that number now stands at 27,000 to 31,000 from at least 86 different countries. From Libya, Tunisia and the country of Georgia to Brussels' Molenbeek district, where the architect of the Nov. 13 Paris attacks lived, to Fredrikstad, Norway, the countries of origin run the gamut from traditional terrorist breeding grounds to more recent ones.

According to the report, Tunisians are the most prevalent nationality coming to fight in Syria, at 6,000. Saudi Arabia follows with 2,500, with 2,400 coming from Russia, 2,100 from Turkey and 2,000 from Jordan. On a regional basis, 8,240 came from the Middle East, while 8,000 came from the Maghreb, in North Africa. Third on the list is western Europe, with 5,000, and former Soviet republics, which have drawn approximately 4,700.

The share of foreign fighters from North America has been mostly flat over the last year, while the number of entrants from western Europe has doubled.

Despite ISIS being a major problem since 2013, White House National Security Advisor Susan Rice admitted over the weekend that the Obama administration didn't really start paying attention to the terror army until 2014.

Another alarming statistic that keeps coming up is that fact that there are twice as many United Kingdom Muslims fighting for ISIS that there are serving in the British armed forces.

ISIS uses social media as a recruitment tool and to spread propaganda. According to the FBI, more than 200,000 ISIS inspired or directed tweets are sent every day. After the terror attack in San Bernardino last week, President Obama has claimed efforts to combat ISIS overseas and online have been stepped up.