Report: 30,000 Foreign ISIS Recruits in Syria

Border Crackdowns Not Keeping Recruits From Getting to Caliphate

With the US and its coalition launching a growing war against ISIS last year, a lot of talk has gone into efforts to try to restrict the flow of money and fighters into the self-proclaimed “caliphate.” Despite a lot of very public efforts to crack down on these borders, however, the flow of fighters is picking up, not slowing down.

The latest reports suggest that some 30,000 ISIS recruits have arrived in Syria from the rest of the world just in the past few years, doubling the number of fighters the group has to command in the last year, during a time when military officials have been claiming “progress” in wiping the group out.

These fighters are coming from all over the place, 100 different countries in all, and at least 250 of them are said to be from the United States. Western nations, particularly in Western Europe, have long been a fertile recruiting ground for ISIS.

The report is expected to be affirmed by an upcoming US Congressional inquiry on the travel of foreign fighters, which is said to conclude that the efforts to stop Americans from joining foreign terrorist groups have “largely failed.”

This is just one of  many different efforts to weaken ISIS, including airstrikes, arms shipments, and rebel training efforts. These too aren’t going particularly well, and indeed the indications are that the limited signs of “success” were so non-credible that they’ve spawned a whole separate Pentagon inquiry into efforts to sugarcoat intelligence reports.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of