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The Costs of Inaction
European Jihad Finds Home in Syria

Syria is serving as a petri dish for European jihad, prompting solemn concern from EU interior ministers in a meeting yesterday. The Washington Post reports that between 1,500 and 2,000 Europeans citizens—more than twice the number US intelligence officials had estimated—have gone to fight in Syria. EU officials say that some are converts to Islam, many have made their contacts on the ground online, and most have indicated a willingness to fight alongside al-Qaeda affiliates. There are now entire training camps in Syria composed of European fighters, sending EU officials into a panic over the prospect of their eventual return:

E.U. interior ministers gathered Thursday in Brussels to discuss the flow to Syria, which has soared to the top of the counterterrorism agenda as the civil war has entered its third year. Syria has become a gathering point for extremist Islamist fighters from around the world, officials said Thursday. Many fear that combatants could return home and commit acts of terror on European soil or serve as inspiration to others.

European officials said they were stunned by the speed of the radicalization and flow of their citizens to Syria, and some officials urged new measures, such as collecting and sharing more airline passenger information, in an effort to slow the migration.

“What we note is the rapidity of the phenomenon,” [French Interior Minister Manuel Valls] said.

A world of ugly is coming out of this terrible war, as the costs of our failure to act back when that would have been possible (without ground troops) continue to mount.

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  • Andrew Allison

    What else would one expect given that, “‘There is a palpable sense of optimism in some quarters that the European crisis is over. But can a crisis really be over when 12 percent
    of the labor force is without a job? When unemployment among the youth is in very high double digits, reaching more than 50 percent in Greece and Spain?’, Lagarde said at the European Economic and Social Committee in Brussels.” With a youth unemployment rate of 25.8% and young Muslims probably representing over 10% of them, France is likely the source of most European jihadists.

  • qet

    Stunned by the speed of the radicalization? Can it be so? Cousin, thou wast not want to be so dull.

  • gabrielsyme

    Is there now an acceptable and feasible outcome to the Syrian Civil War that does not include the survival of the Assad regime? Victory for the rebels increasingly looks like it will include a massive boost for al-Qaeda, a strong chance of genocide and ethnic cleansing (which has already begun), and at the very least a government as sympathetic to Sunni extremism as the Assads are currently supportive of Hezbollah.

    Is it not time to cut our losses, withdraw support for the increasingly jihadist-dominated rebels, and accept the survival of Assad as the lesser of evils? If America had a stronger foreign-policy leadership in place, it could even sell it as part of a strong and enforceable nuclear agreement with Iran.

  • ThirteenthLetter

    Easy fix. Don’t let them back in.

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