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Monday, February 2, 2015

Map: Foreign fighters to Iraq and Syria has surged October 2014 January 2015



 January 27  

The number of foreign fighters traveling to Iraq and Syria, mostly to fight alongside the Islamic State, has grown to 20,000 — up more than 5,000 from previous estimates made in October, according to the International Center for the Study of Radicalization and Political Violence (ICSR).
These new figures are alarming, inasmuch as they indicate that the conflict has attracted more foreign militants than the conflict in Afghanistan in the 1980s. The last time this many militants traveled to fight in a foreign conflict was in 1945.
Another key takeaway from the new data is that, at 4,000, a fifth of the foreign fighters come from Western nations. While estimates from countries in the Middle East, such as Saudi Arabia and Tunisia, fluctuated a little, there were huge increases in fighters coming from European nations.
France previously accounted for 412 fighters traveling to Iraq and Syria. The new data show that number has  almost tripled, to 1,200. The Netherlands, Britain and Austria all accounted for about 100 additional fighters.
Belgium, a much smaller nation, went from 296 to 440 and has the highest number of fighters per capita of any Western nation. The country has been "experiencing the consequences of what critics call decades of ineffectiveness in integrating immigrants, including many Muslims."According to a story by my colleague Michael Birnbaum:
[T]he country faces particular challenges because........
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