Some 5,000 EU nationals are currently fighting in Syria among the ranks of ISIS and other terrorist groups, a senior Syrian official said, warning it will be a disaster for European security if the militants are allowed to return home.
“We have statistics that about five thousand terrorists fighting in Syria have come from the EU countries,” said Syria’s Deputy Minister of Expatriates and Foreign Affairs Ayman Susan.
“Imagine that these five thousand terrorists will return to Europe … they can do it,” the diplomat warned.
“This will be a disaster for the security and stability of European countries and their populations.”
The EU has for years been well aware of the threat posed by European (nationals) in ISIS and other fighters who are returning from combat zones of the so-called caliphate of Syria and Iraq.
Most of the foreign nationals who arrive to fight for the extremists are lured through carefully designed social media campaigns and attractive financial benefits that the terrorists promise their recruits. The majority of EU nationals fighting in Syria and Iraq come from immigrant backgrounds in their respective EU countries who find it difficult to assimilate into European society.