TSC Report Cited by The Philadelphia Tribune: Foreigners who Joined IS Faced Almost Certain Death in Raqqa
October 27, 2017

Foreigners who Joined IS Faced Almost Certain Death in Raqqa

The Philadelphia Tribune
By:Lori El Deeb


The forces fighting the remnants of the Islamic State group in Syria have tacit instructions on dealing with the foreigners who joined the extremist group by the thousands: Kill them on the battlefield.

As they made their last stand in the northern Syrian city of Raqqa, an estimated 300 extremists holed up in and around a sports stadium and a hospital argued among themselves about whether to surrender, according to Kurdish commanders leading the forces that closed in. The final days were brutal — 75 coalition airstrikes in 48 hours and a flurry of desperate IS car bombs that were easily spotted in the sliver of devastated landscape still under militant control …

At its height, between 27,000 and 31,000 may have traveled to Syria and Iraq to join the Islamic State group, according to an analysis by The Soufan Group. Of those, about 6,000 were from Europe, with most from France, Germany and Britain. A majority had immigrant backgrounds and was heavily targeted by the group’s propaganda, which highlighted the injustices they faced at home. One study found that fewer than 10 percent of the Western fighters were converts to Islam …

There are now at least 5,600 people from 33 countries who have left ISIS’ so-called caliphate and returned home, according to a report from The Soufan Center.

Some countries have seen more returnees that others: About half of the fighters from the UK, Sweden, and Denmark have returned, while 10% of the fighters from Russia or former Soviet republics have gone back …


To download The Soufan Center’s report click here.


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