FBI: Foreign Fighters Head to Syria in Increasing Numbers

Dozens of Americans, Thousands of Europeans Flock to Rebellion

FBI Director James Coney today warned that the long-standing problem of foreign fighters flocking to Syria to join al-Qaeda-linked rebels is actually getting worse, with fighters going in increased numbers from Western nations in recent months.

Though Comey declined to offer specific numbers, he said the flow of fighters had increased considerably, and that dozens of new Americans, along with thousands of Europeans, had gone to Syria in the past several months.

The concern is that the fighters, motivated by ideology, will be recruited by the al-Qaeda leaders running the rebel factions, and will return to the US and Europe with orders for attacks here, and with passports that give them access most jihadists simply wouldn’t have.

Comey likened the flow of fighters to Syria to the number of fighters who went to Afghanistan to join the anti-Soviet jihad in the 1980s, warning the real problem was going to come when the fighters finally leave Syria.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of Antiwar.com.