Alwaght- A wave “dangerous and disillusioned” ISIS terrorists fleeing defeat in Syria and Iraq earlier this year might hit targets in Europe, the head of the UN Security Council's counterterrorism agency has warned.
Jean-Paul Laborde Executive Director, Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate (CTED) told reporters on Thursday that Scores of foreign ISIS fighters, determined to come back to Europe, are “more dangerous” than previous waves of returnees. He added that some may be eager to seek revenge after defeats on the battlefield, including in recent confrontations in Mosul.
The first wave of the returnees was mainly made up of young people who went to Syria and Iraq “for T-shirts and photos,” Laborde said. They came back “disillusioned and dismayed.” The second wave may contain much more extreme individuals, who had more time to build contacts with criminal organizations that can assist them in committing attacks.
Between 40 to 50 percent of foreign fighters, who left for Syria and Iraq, have already left territories controlled by ISIS, Laborde added.
“On average, these people are much more committed, more experienced and more skilled,” he told reporters, as cited by Reuters.
“In spite of the travel restrictions ... still you will have a number of foreign terrorist fighters which will probably slip through the borders and go back, come back to these countries, especially with smuggling networks,” he added.
Over the last 18 months, the flow of departures of fighters from Europe to Syria or Iraq fell by some 90 percent, the UN official said, calling for international cooperation not only between EU member states, but also between countries involved in armed conflicts and their neighbors.
Some 5,000 EU nationals are currently fighting in Syria among the ranks of IS and other jihadist groups, a senior Syrian official said last month, warning that it’ll be a disaster for European security if these militants are allowed to return.
“We have statistics that about five thousand terrorists fighting in Syria have come from the EU countries,” Syria's Deputy Minister of Expatriates and Foreign Affairs Ayman Susan told Sputnik in mid-April.