» 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.
/ 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
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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