Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Foreign Fighters Pouring Into Syria Faster Than Ever

The West's top counterterrorism officials struggle to wrap their heads around the mystery of the ISIS appeal as the number of foreign fighters in Syria goes thru the roof

# NBC News
Foreign Fighters Pouring Into Syria Faster Than Ever, Say Officials () {

Date = October 29th 2014

 ... “It’s greater than anything we’ve seen into Afghanistan, into Yemen, into Somalia, into Iraq, or anything that we’ve seen in the last 10-year period.”

Blake said the number... has risen so rapidly in recent weeks that a new law enforcement video shown at the four-day event is already out of date.

“The video said there are somewhere around 12,000 foreign fighters in Syria. We would update that number to about 16,000 foreign fighters who have traveled to Syria from over 80 countries,” Blake said, adding that roughly 2,000 of those fighters hail from Western countries...


What’s more, authorities have found it nearly impossible to create a demographic profile of these Western volunteers.

...  said John Adams, the FBI’s deputy director for counterterrorism. 

“We’re currently age-ranged from minors of 15 years old, which is our youngest traveler, up to 63 years old, which has been our oldest traveler. It’s very, very difficult to try and identify a particular age group that this particular foreign fighter message resonates with,”...


No one knows for sure what is motivating so many Westerners to head to Syria, but one U.S. official offered a personal theory.

...  Andrew McCabe, assistant director in charge of the FBI’s Washington field office.

“Our culture is one that grew up with instant gratification, instant information,” said McCabe. “Al Qaeda’s message has historically been, ‘This is a long war, we’ll fight the Great Satan [and] we’ll try and establish a caliphate sometime in the future.’ ISIL has come forward and said, 'The time is now, it's happening now. We have our own territory, come join us.'”

“To me, the instant appeal of participating in the caliphate that’s happening now, I think that resonates...“


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