Up to 4-5 thousand European jihadist militants with EU passports are fighting on the side of al-Qaeda in Syria, according to Belgium’s state security structures.
Meanwhile, battle-hardened jihadists are returning to Europe in increasing numbers, posing a real threat to EU security. Syrian rebels are often seen as heroes to a small section of youths upon return, making them ideal to further foster recruitment. According to Belgian state security structures, 4-5 thousand jihadist militants with EU passports were fighting against the Assad regime in Syria, mass media of Belgium reported Friday.
There are up to twenty Chechens in the ranks of the Syrian radical Islamists; they went there from different regions of Belgium, a source in the state security agency says. The counter-intelligence service and the police of Belgium believe that about 200 owners of Belgian passports are fighting in Syria on the side of the Islamists, and about 20 of them were killed.
It is also reported that a group of Belgian Dutch-speaking jihadists, trained in Syria, participated in at least one of the last acts of terrorism on the territory of Iraq. There is information that Belgian Islamic terrorists migrate from Syria into Turkey and Lebanon. The security services possess information about the plans of recruiters to take jihadists trained in Syria to Morocco and Tunisia. Somalia is not excluded either.