125 Danish citizens have joined ISIS, returnees pose terror threat: Official

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ARA News

QAMISHLI – Since the emergence of the extremist Islamic State group (ISIS), thousands of westerners have joined its ranks. The Western governments expressed fear of the returnee jihadists, who could carry out attacks against European and American interests in their countries. 

The Danish Security and Intelligence Service (PET) said Friday that some 125 Danish citizens have joined ISIS since the group declared its alleged caliphate in Syria and Iraq.

“Since the summer of 2012, nearly 125 Danish citizens have left the country to join radical groups in Iraq and Syria, and those who have returned could carry out attacks,” PET said in a statement.

The agency’s Center for Terror Analysis (CTA) warned that “the number can be higher” than expected.

The CTA indicated that the majority of those who have left Denmark to fight for ISIS are young Sunni Muslims and up to ten percent of them are women. 

The conflict in Syria and Iraq is a major threat to Denmark, according to PET.

Among the returnees, there are individuals who can pose a terror threat. They can carry out terror attacks individually or at the request or instruction from terror groups.

Earlier this month, the Danish justice minister said that the government is preparing legislation to allow for treating foreign fighters as traitors.

In December 2014, the Danish Intelligence Agency announced that Denmark faces a significant threat from Muslim extremist citizens returning from the war-torn countries of Syria and Iraq.

“At least 16 Danish young Muslims were reported dead in battles in Syria and Iraq, while about half of those who traveled to these war-torn courtiers have returned to Denmark and they may pose threat to the country,” the Danish intelligence said.

Returnees do not only belong to the western countries but also the former soviet countries ــwho found in the war zones in Syria and Iraq a fertile environment for their alleged jihad. 

In September, the Jaish al-Muhajireen wal-Ansar (Muhajireen Brigade) armed group fighting in Syria has pledged allegiance to al-Qaeda’s Syria branch al-Nusra Front, activists reported. According to pro-Nusra sources, the Muhajireen Brigade, which includes some 1,500 Chechen, Tajik and Uzbek militant fighters, declared allegiance to Nusra in a statement. With the new 1,500 fighters joining Nusra Front, the group is increasing its chances in the battle against its rival ISIS.

According to U.N. reports, more than 20,000 foreign fighters are currently active in Syria and Iraq, where extremists of ISIS have taken over large areas.

Reporting by: Egid Ibrahim

Source: ARA News

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