Almost 30,000 foreigners, together with greater than 250 Americans, have joined Islamic State and different militant teams to battle in Syria and Iraq, double the quantity a yr in the past, a congressional study launched on Tuesday confirmed.
“This threat is getting worse not better, and we are losing in the struggle to keep Americans from the battlefield”, said Michael McCaul, R-TX, who chairs the House Homeland Security Committee. Ten percent of the known foreign travel cases were in 2013, growing to 40 percent in 2014, and 50 percent so far this year, it said.
The report said the Obama administration lacked a strategy to prevent such travel overseas, identify all who try to return to commit terror attacks, or cope with new recruitment practices and technology that allow extremists to communicate securely.
While most of the recruits are from Saudi Arabia and Tunisia, a significant number of Western youth have also joined the terror cult, after turning victim to their online propaganda.
“Instead, countries including the United States rely on a patchwork system for swapping individual extremist identities”, the report found, calling that system “an inherently weak arrangement that increases the odds a foreign fighter will be able to cross the border undetected when traveling to and from a terrorist sanctuary”. “Sadly, global efforts have failed to stop the flow of these aspiring jihadists into Syria, and we have already seen “returnees” from the conflict zone come home to America and Europe and plot acts of terror”.
“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 group also pointed to gaps in worldwide intelligence-sharing efforts, noting that “there is now no comprehensive global database of foreign fighter names”.
USA and coalition air strikes have not deterred Americans seeking to join ISIS in Syria, according to the report.
The House report made 32 recommendations and lawmakers said they would work on crafting legislation based on them.
“These are real threats, requiring real solutions and commitments,” said Democratic Rep. Loretta Sanchez (D-California).
ISIS makes millions of dollars from the trafficking of oil and antiquities, which helps fund its brutal tactics, USA officials said.