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.