Nearly Half of ISIS Europeans Are From France

1,430 French Believed Fighting for ISIS in Iraq, Syria

While ISIS has had unprecedented recruiting success across the world and particularly across the western world, some countries have been easier than others. The latest estimates suggest France is easily the most significant European nation for them.

The report, coming out of France’s domestic intelligence services, estimates that 1,430 French fighters are fighting for ISIS in Iraq and Syria, nearly half of the 3,000 Europeans they have overall.

Such estimates are always a bit problematic on exact numbers, as international spy agencies have limited insight into the overall operations of ISIS. Still and all, they reflect trends pretty successfully.

French officials say that of the 1,430 fighters some 200 are believed to have returned to France, and many are believed to be active in recruiting others or planning attacks domestically.

France has had problems with unrest among its Muslim minority for years, and ISIS seems to be parlaying those problems into a healthy stream of recruits for their fighting forces in the Middle East.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of