“Despite concerted efforts to stem the flow, we have largely failed to stop Americans from traveling overseas to join jihadists”.
In a report Tuesday, the committee says more than 250 Americans have joined or tried to join terrorist groups in Iraq and Syria.
Over 25,000 foreigners have voluntarily traveled to war-torn regions of Iraq and Syria to join the dreaded outfit.
“We are witnessing the largest global convergence of jihadists in history”, the report said.
Keneshbek Sainazarov, based in Kyrgyzstan with the non-governmental organization Search For Common Ground, said evidence indicates the number of recruits from Central Asia is growing, with extremists increasingly targeting women using a combination of social media and in-person outreach.
“His peer-to-peer recruiting almost worked, as six of his friends attempted to leave the United States for Syria; they were arrested by the Federal Bureau of Investigation this April”, the report said.
The group also pointed to gaps in worldwide intelligence sharing efforts, noting that “there is now no comprehensive global database of foreign fighter names”.
For months now, USA military officials have said the Islamic State has been finding ways to replace fighters lost to the now more than 7,000 coalition airstrikes “at the rate we kill them”.
US State Department officials confirmed that Iran’s designation as a state sponsor of terrorism was the reason for its exclusion from the countering Isis summit being chaired by Obama on Tuesday. In addition to fizzling their financial income, the State Department said opposing the militants would help preserve cultural and historical sites that would otherwise be looted and destroyed, such as Syria’s Palmyra earlier in September.
The bipartisan investigation concluded that in nearly 80 percent of cases, USA foreign fighter aspirants were influenced by online Islamic State Group propaganda.
“These labels and lists reduce American manoeuvrability and flexibility at a time when agility is a critical property in foreign policy”, said Trita Parsi, the head of the National Iranian-American Council, an advocacy group promoting diplomacy with Iran.
The announcement came ahead of a scheduled meeting between President Obama and other world leaders on strategies for combating ISIS.
Texas Republican Rep. Will Hurd, who worked for nine years as an undercover CIA agent, said that while coordination between agencies fighting to prevent attacks on USA soil still needs work, he said he’s noticed improvements.