mead cohen berger shevtsova garfinkle michta grygiel blankenhorn
Foreign Fighters in ISIS
830 European ISIS Recruits Caught in Turkey

As President Obama sounded the warning about Westerners fighting in ISIS last night, Turkey announced that it has already interdicted hundreds of European would-be jihadists—and has tabs on thousands more. Hurriyet Daily News reports:

In the past two years, Turkey has captured 830 European citizens who attempted to enter Syria via Turkey to join ISIL. Turkey also filed search warrants for 2,000 people who are thought to have joined the jihadist ISIL militants.

European countries have recently started to share information with Turkey about jihadist militants suspected of entering Syria through Turkey. Several European states, including Germany, Britain, France, Holland and Belgium, have reportedly shared with Turkey information about 4,700 people via Interpol.

As Walter Russell Mead pointed out this morning, ISIS has figured out a way, through methods ranging from psychopathic torture porn to fanatical religious rhetoric, to appeal to young Westerners like never before. Even if we are able to smash the Islamic State militarily, we will be dealing with the threat posed by these battle-hardened jihadis for years to come. Let us hope our intelligence agencies, every bit as much as our military, are up to the tasks ahead.

Features Icon
show comments
  • jeburke

    It’s not at all something new that ISIS has figured out how to appeal to “young Westerners” if indeed they are “Westerners.” Since 9/11, US authorities have broken up about 30 plots involving “home grown” terrorists, who have come from Afghan, Pakistani, Palestinian, Chechnyan, Bosnian, Somali and various other Arab backgrounds, as well as Americans converted to Islam. All three successful attacks were perpetrated by these “Westerners” not to mention attacks in Europe.

© The American Interest LLC 2005-2016 About Us Masthead Submissions Advertise Customer Service