Expert: Over 12 000 foreign fighters in Syria

2014-09-09 08:37
Fighters from the al-qaeda linked Islamic State group during a parade in Raqqa, Syria. (Raqqa media centre, AP)

Fighters from the al-qaeda linked Islamic State group during a parade in Raqqa, Syria. (Raqqa media centre, AP)

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New York - A leading expert on terrorism says over 12 000 foreigners from 74 countries have gone to fight in Syria, 60-70% from other Middle Eastern countries and about 20-25% from Western nations.

Professor Peter Neumann, who directs the international centre for the study of radicalisation at King's College London, said the Syrian conflict has sparked the most significant mobilisation of foreign fighters since the 1980s war in Afghanistan.

He said on Monday that the Afghan conflict in the 1980s produced al-Qaeda and the Syrian conflict is now forging new networks that will carry out terrorist attacks.

Neumann has been consulting the UN Security Council ahead of its 24 September summit meeting, chaired by President Barack Obama, on foreign terrorist fighters and the threat they pose.
Read more on:    un  |  al-qaeda  |  syria  |  syria conflict

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