Israel Sees Western Jihadists in Syria as a Future Security Nightmare

20 Percent of Foreign Jihadists Are From Western Nations

For a long time, the Israeli government was trying to paint the Syrian Civil War in the simplest terms, believing anything that weakened Bashar Assad was a net positive.

That’s undergoing a major rethink now, as Israeli officials are taking major note of the number of Western jihadists fighting alongside al-Qaeda in Syria, and the long-term problems they pose.

That’s because Western citizenship means Western passports, and of 10,000 foreign Islamists in Syria’s rebellion, some 20 percent are believed to be Westerners

Through much of the global war on terror, Western fighters were the rare exception, but as Syria attracts them by the thousand, they will eventually return home with contacts across the world, and the passports to get access to targets most fighters couldn’t hope to approach.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of