Former German soldiers join ISIS in Syria and Iraq: intelligence report

German member of ISIS Silvio K. File photo

ARA News 

ISTANBUL ــ A German intelligence report revealed that 29 former soldiers in the German army have joined the ranks of the radical group of Islamic State (ISIS) in Syria and Iraq during the past few months. 

According to the report, out of the 29 German soldiers there were 19 fighters who were demobilized from the service since 2007 for religiously extremist inclination, and have travelled abroad and joined the ranks of the terror group in the war-torn countries of Syria and Iraq. 

Additionally, the German intelligence has put more than 320 recruits under surveillance since 2007 due to suspicious religious beliefs. 

This is the first time that the German intelligence agency admits its own nationals have joined the terror group. Many of those fighters have appeared in ISIS-broadcasted videos in a bid to lure Europeans to join ISIS ranks, according to experts. 

Germany reportedly suffers –as many European countries– from a mounting desire among its citizens to head to the Middle East and join armed extremist groups. The western countries have subsequently taken strict security measures at borders and airports in an attempt to face possible terrorist attacks. 

Western powers have shown concerns regarding the possible return of extremists who could carry out terrorist acts inside their own countries. 

The ISIS hardline group has recently posed threats against a number of Western countries, including Germany, vowing to launch attacks in the heart of the German cities, in response to the participation of Berlin in the anti-ISIS US-led coalition forces.

Since the emergence of ISIS, thousands of foreign fighters have bolstered its ranks in Syria and Iraq, driving fresh concern about potential terrorist plots targeting European countries and the United States, according to U.S. officials. 

In 2014, the number of Westerners fighting alongside ISIS was remarkably surged; however, their number has declined within the past few months, especially after the US-led coalition forces intensified airstrikes on critical positions like financial resources and leadership centers of the group. Most of the ISIS foreign militants are from western countries like the United States, Australia, Belgium, Canada, France, Germany and Great Britain. 

Reporting by: Mustafa Hamed

Source: ARA News

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