More than 25,000 foreigners have flocked to war-torn Syria and Iraq since 2011 to fight with Islamist terrorist groups including ISIS, according to US government estimates noted in the report.
“Of the hundreds of Americans who have sought to travel to the conflict zone in Syria and Iraq, authorities have only interdicted a fraction of them”. It did not provide details on the several dozen who have sneaked back into the United States without being arrested or monitored.
“As we move forward to implement the findings of this report, it is critical that we focus on boosting global intelligence measures, producing an updated national strategy, halting the online recruitment of Americans by terrorist groups, and encouraging more efficient information sharing between state, local and federal law enforcement”, Mr. Katko said in a statement. A lot of this could be stopped by prevention if we had outreach to these communities, ‘ McCaul said.
The report states that a few of the foreign fighters that flew to Syria initially did so to help oust President Bashar al-Assad, “but most are now joining the Islamic State (group), inspired to become a part of the group’s “caliphate” and to expand its repressive society”.
Additionally, the survey looked at Islamic State militants’ use of social media to recruit foreigners, with McCaul noting that there are 200,000 Islamic State tweets on Twitter every day.
While airstrikes by the U.S. and its allies have killed around 10,000 extremists, “new foreign fighters replace them nearly as quickly as they are killed”, the report says.
“Working together with other nations and private organizations in the preservation of cultural heritage, the United States is committed to disrupting the illegal trafficking of antiquities and proving that ISIL’s tactics of murder and destruction will not erase Iraq and Syria’s rich history and cultures”, the release said.
The U.S.is losing the battle to stop Americans from traveling overseas to enlist in ISIS, a bipartisan congressional task force concluded in a report released Tuesday.
Katko said the committee will work to draft several pieces of legislation based on the report’s 32 recommendations.
The report blamed the governments of European Union countries for failing to screen travelers against terrorism watchlists or try to identify forged passports.