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    » 02/11/2015, 00.00

    SYRIA - UNITED STATES

    Syria, more than 20 thousand foreign fighters have joined the jihad



    The number of volunteers who have joined the militias of the Islamic State has increased at an "unprecedented" rate. They come from more than 90 nations worldwide, at least 3,400 from the West (150 from the United States). A carefully masterminded propaganda and an "alienated" life are the main factors which lead many to join the jihadists.

    Damascus (AsiaNews / Agencies) - In the last period the number of foreign militants arriving in Syria via Turkey to join the jihad has increased at an "unprecedented" rate. Worldwide more than 20 thousand people have joined the ranks of the Islamic State or other extremist groups. According to US intelligence the volunteers of the holy war come from more than 90 nations and, of these, at least 3,400 from Western states (150 Americans).

    The report released by the National Counter-Terrorism Center (NCTC), headquartered in Virginia, states that foreign fighters prefer to enlist among the militias of the Islamic State, seen today as more attractive than other extremist and terrorist movements. Experts have updated the estimates published in January, according to which about 19 thousand jihadists arrived in Syria. There is no reliable data, but according to NCTC director Nicholas Rasmussen, the " the trend lines are clear and concerning".

    To underpin the dimensions of the phenomenon, the intelligence expert explains that "the number of direct foreign fighters in Syria is unprecedented" and "exceeds" that of those who have gone to "Afghanistan and Pakistan, Iraq, Yemen, Somalia or other areas in the last 20 years". The type of foreign jihadist going to the Middle East, "do not fit into any stereotype" and come from a range of backgrounds.

    For some time Western governments have been warning about the growing number of citizens who leave for Syria and Iraq, to fight in the ranks of the Islamist groups. A phenomenon that has grown even more in the aftermath of the attacks in Paris, which caused 17 deaths and panic in the heart of Europe.

    According to the NCTC Director Islamic State militias attract such a large number of fighters thanks to the optimal use of propaganda on the internet and social media; videos and films, made in different languages and well produced, seem to appeal to thrill seeking young Westerners. Besides images of beheadings and violence, the group has figured out how to reach and indoctrinate thousands of boys and girls; they oppose a "bucolic" and fascinating image of life in the territories occupied by the "Caliphate" to a "alienated" and hopeless life. "Al Qaeda and its various branches in the Middle East and Africa - said Nicholas Rasmussen - have never displayed such an acumen with propaganda".

     

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    See also

    05/05/2016 09:49:00 SYRIA
    Aleppo, "partial truce" between Syrian army and rebel groups

    Last night “a partial and shaky" ceasefire went into effect between the two sides at war. Jihadist groups like the Islamic State and al Qaeda excluded. Fundamental  role of diplomatic pressure from Russia and the United States, concerned about the escalation of violence. In less than two weeks 300 civilian casualties in the northern capital.

     



    18/03/2016 19:42:00 SYRIA – UNITED STATES
    Responding to Kerry, Patriarch Laham says war is taking place in Syria, not genocide

    Gregory III criticises the US Secretary’s claim because it is "no good" for Syria’s ethnic and religious groups. For the bishop, it is necessary not to link religion and war; otherwise, matter will be worse. What is needed is more work on peace and coexistence. Syrian bishops call on the faithful to pray for the success of the Geneva talks. 



    17/09/2015 UNITED NATIONS – SYRIA
    Tensions between Moscow and Washington hamper fragile UN peace diplomacy in Syria
    The UN special envoy Staffan de Mistura is in Damascus to find a shared solution to end the conflict. US and Russia clash over Moscow’s military support for Damascus. For some, Obama’s goal of removing Assad is an obstacle to peace. For the Syrian president, the refugee crisis is Europe’s fault. The UN Security Council is expected to come up with shared responses.

    06/05/2016 18:59:00 SYRIA
    Refugee camp attack, odd for Syrian bishop; “blind violence” intensifies in Aleppo

    Mgr Abou Khazen calls for caution before jumping to conclusions about the attack against a refugee camp near the Turkish border that killed 28. In Aleppo, people are living in fear or fleeing. Truce was broken “thousands of times”. Caritas Syria is set to organise a blood drive for Aleppo’s wounded. Tonight prayers for peace will be held in Damascus.



    10/03/2016 10:00:00 SYRIA - UN
    From March 14 to 24 new round of peace talks on Syria

    Indirect dialogue through mediation of UN envoy. The truce has enabled the delivery of humanitarian aid in many areas that were under siege. Still no help in Daraya and Douma, besieged by government forces, and Deir Ezzor, besieged by ISIS.





    Editor's choices

    POLAND - CHINA - WYD
    Beijing's tricks and violence to stop Chinese youth from reaching WYD

    Vincenzo Faccioli Pintozzi

    The government yesterday blocked a group of 50 young pilgrims who had already boarded a plane bound for Krakow. Interrogated for hours by immigration, they were "admonished" and sent home with orders not to contact anyone abroad. Meanwhile, "young Chinese Catholics" hang around central World Youth Day locations in groups of five or six, with the task of spying on fellow countrymen. They work for cultural institutes or Chinese companies in Poland.


    ISLAM - EUROPE
    Fr Samir: Islamic terror in France and Germany a crisis of integration, but above all of politics

    Samir Khalil Samir

    The kidnapping and murder of a priest near Rouen (France) and the various attacks in Würzburg, Munich, Ansbach (Germany) were carried out by young people, who were indoctrinated with ease. Germany was a model for the integration of refugees. But radical Islam cannot be assimilated. It is supported by Saudi Arabia and Qatar. There is no other road other than integration. But we must tell the truth: the Koran contains elements of war and violence. Western politicians suffer from ignorance and a loss of all moral sentiment.


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