The numbers may seem small but the threat remains. Intelligence reports compiled with newspaper stories give the following figures of European Muslims who traveled to Syria to fight:. Among those who fought in Afghanistan and Iraq returned to their countries of adoption they did so all the more hardened by the experience of having participated in violent warfare in the world's most inhospitable terrain, having fought against the world's best trained, best equipped and most formidable fighting machine in the history of mankind.
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Those who are fighting and who will fight in Syria will return after having faced a ruthless force where the horrors of war will have shown them scenes they possibly never imagined even in their worst nightmares. Additionally, these hardened fighters return to uncertainty in their countries of adoption. With rising unemployment and skills they can hardly list on a CV, they remain easy prey of jihadi recruiters.
This is what happened in the aftermath of Afghanistan and Iraq. And this is what will happen post Syria.
The current situation in Syria holds all the elements for the making of a perfect Islamist jihadi storm. There is a tragedy waiting to happen. Claude Salhani, a specialist in conflict resolution, is an independent journalist, political analyst and author of several books on the region.
Tap here to turn on desktop notifications to get the news sent straight to you. Intelligence reports compiled with newspaper stories give the following figures of European Muslims who traveled to Syria to fight: Follow Claude Salhani on Twitter: This Blogger's Books and Other Items from Black September to Desert Storm: A Journalist in the Middle East. Islam Without a Veil: Kazakhstan's Path of Moderation.
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