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Over 2,400 Terrorists from Russian Federation Fighting for ISIL in Syria, Iraq

18 September 2015 16:07



First Deputy Director of Russia’s Federal Security Service Sergey Smirnov said on Friday that at least 2,400 Russian citizens are currently fighting on the side of the ISIL terrorists group in Syria and Iraq.

“The information available to us indicates that approximately 2,400 citizens of the Russian Federation have already taken part in the activities of the ISIL terrorists. It is quite a large number,” Smirnov said after a session of the Council of the Regional Anti-Terrorist Structure of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization in the Uzbek capital Tashkent today.

In April, a report by the UN said that more than 25,000 foreign fighters, linked to al-Qaeda and ISIL terrorist groups, are fighting in Iraq, Syria, Yemen and other countries.

The analysis, which was carried out by a panel of experts monitoring UN sanctions against al-Qaeda and ISIL, shows that the number of foreign terrorists spiked by 71 percent between mid-2014 and March 2015.

The report added that the flow of foreign militants “is higher than it has ever been historically.”

According to the report, which was presented to the UN Security Council, the total number of foreign terrorists has “risen sharply from a few thousand… a decade ago to more than 25,000 today.”

Syria and Iraq were the destination for over 20,000 of the militants, where they went to join ISIL and the al-Nusra front, the report added.

It went on to say that the foreign militants are currently training in “a veritable ‘international finishing school’ for extremists.”

It also pointed out that an estimated 6,500 foreign militants are active in Afghanistan and hundreds more in Yemen, Libya, Pakistan, Somalia and other countries.

The Takfiri militants and their networks “pose an immediate and long-term threat” and “an urgent global security problem” which needs to be tackled on many fronts, said the report.

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