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Istanbul, Turkey – The British police of the Department of Anti-Terrorism said on Thursday that more than 700 British citizens have traveled to Syria in order to join the militant groups.
The department said in an official statement that this number does not include those who had traveled for other purposes than joining terrorist groups.
“The figure only includes those who are suspected of having gone to fight with extremist groups.”
More than half of those accused of joining jihadists in Syria have already returned to the UK. Most of them are currently being prosecuted on charges of terrorism.
The statement reflected concerned by the British authorities about what it described as “the dangerous phenomena” of the travel of entire families, including teenagers, to join these terrorist organizations.
The influx of foreign jihadists into Syria has raised concerns in the West. In the meantime, Western authorities started enforcing strict security procedures in order to prevent its citizens from traveling to Syria as well as prosecuting suspected returnees on charges of terrorism.
On the other hand, dozens of Western fighters from different nationalities have joined the ranks of the Kurdish forces in Syria and Iraq in order to combat militants of the Islamic State (IS/ISIS).
Reporting by: Mustafa Hamed
Source: ARA News