Assembly committee: More than 4,000 Iraq and Syria-trained fighters pose threat to Europe’s security

A report adopted today by the Parliamentary Assembly’s Political Affairs Committee, reveals that more than 4,000 western European “foreign fighters” have joined jihad groups in Syria and Iraq.

The largest number are from France, the United Kingdom and Germany. The countries most affected relative to population size include Belgium, Denmark and Sweden.

It is estimated that some 30,000 foreigners have travelled to the countries to join “IS” and other violent extremist groups.

At its Brussels meeting today, the committee considered the security threats posed by returning fighters but declared that a security-oriented, repressive approach to the problem would be inadequate. The parliamentarians want more emphasis placed on prevention, deradicalisation and reintegration policies.

Today, French police identified the third attacker who blew himself up at the Bataclan concert venue during the November Paris attacks as Fouad Mohammed-Aggad, 23, from Strasbourg. It is understood that he returned to France, after being radicalised in Syria in 2013.

More information

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