New York (AsiaNews/Agencies) – The flow of foreign fighters into the Middle East to join terrorist groups is “higher than it has ever been historically.”
More than 25,000 foreign fighters have travelled from at least 100 countries to areas such as Iraq, Syria, Libya and Pakistan. This poses an immediate and long-term threat to global security, according to a UN report.
The number of foreign fighters has "risen sharply", increasing by 71 per cent between the middle of 2014 and March 2015.
Syria and Iraq have also become a "veritable finishing school for extremists", with some 22,000 foreign fighters operating in those two countries.
The groups that benefited the most from these “terror migrants” are al Qaeda and the so-called Islamic State (IS) group.
The report, by experts monitoring UN sanctions against al-Qaeda, warned that defeating IS in Iraq and Syria could lead to the dispersal of experienced fighters across the world.
In fact, an additional 6,500 fighters are present in Afghanistan and hundreds in Yemen, Libya and Pakistan.
A high number of foreign fighters have come from Tunisia, Morocco, France and Russia. But there has also been an increase in the number of those coming from the Maldives, Finland and Trinidad and Tobago.