Fewer Foreign Fighters Joining ISIS, Making Them More Dangerous: US Colonel

Fewer Foreign Fighters Joining ISIS, Making Them More Dangerous: US Colonel
Wed Feb 24, 2016 14:03:32

The number of foreign fighters joining ISIS has slowed for the first time, but this could result in more attacks in the West, a colonel in the US-led coalition has warned.

Fewer foreign fighters joining the militant group has contributed to a 20 per cent drop in their total military force, according to a US intelligence estimate released this month.

Using the Arabic word for ISIS, Colonel Steve Warren told reporters in London: "Daesh is now beginning to lose but as we squeeze them and we begin to see them get chipped away at inside Iraq and Syria, we are going to see them look for other avenues.

"What I do know is that we have assessed that as we continue to squeeze this enemy they are going to want to show the world that they are still viable.

“One of the ways they can do that is through a high-visibility attack outside of their so-called caliphate borders.”

Up to 5,000 terrorists are feared to be in Europe after returning from terrorist training camps, according to the head of Europol, who predicted further attacks by ISIS following the massacres in Paris that killed 130 people.

Colonel Warren told reporters he had no intelligence of a specific threat, but said it was something being discussed between intelligence communities in different nations.

He added: "We do not view a Paris attack or a San Bernardino attack as a sign of strength, as many have interpreted it.

"We view it as exactly the opposite.”

He also said the fall in the number of ISIS fighters suggested the group was struggling to replenish its ranks after battlefield deaths and desertions., Independent reported.

E/S 212-11

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