Friday, June 6, 2014

Syria-linked jihadists ..... a partial listing

The link below has a listing of countries that have Syria-connected jihadis expected to return, killed in Syria or arrested in their "home" countries. The fiasco of Syria which was the brain-child of the USA and her two main co-conspirators in the Middle East ... Israel and Saudi Arabia... has managed to give the entire world, many long lasting gifts, the full impact of those marvelous gifts  will likely unfold in the near future and continue for decades to come.

Linda Lundquist writing at LongWarjournal
Analysis: Blowback from the Syrian jihad has begun.  

As the Obama administration seeks to invest more heavily in training and arming 'vetted, moderate' rebels in Syria's three-year civil war, a conflict that has already claimed over 150,000 lives and drawn the largest-ever concentration of foreign jihadists, the wisdom of this course becomes increasingly questionable. The US' efforts so far have brought neither loyalty to the US, nor victory or even battlefield dominance for the truly moderate rebels, who are outnumbered and outweighed by al Qaeda-linked and other Islamist groups.

Syria has become a de rigeur training ground for jihadists worldwide. Over 2,000 European jihadists alone have gone to Syria to fight, according to a recent European Union estimate. The US' weak attempts to vet, arm, and train purportedly moderate fighting groups have merely fueled an ongoing conflict that shows no signs of abating and is producing a new generation of well-connected foreign fighters who leave the Syrian killing fields to extend the Islamist fight into new battle zones. The result of the continued stalemate between the Assad regime and the rebels is the spawning of a new breed of jihadist cells carrying out a widening array of terrorist activity outside Syria.

Al Qaeda-linked groups, including the official Syrian branch known as the Al Nusrah Front, as well as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Sham (ISIS), are now running training camps in Syria that turn out jihadists capable of mounting attacks against the West. As early as December 2012, Die Welt reported that "Western intelligence operatives say that al Nusrah runs several large training camps in Syria where Islamists with fighting experience - veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan - train new recruits, including Islamists from Western countries."

In late October 2013, Mike Rogers, chairman of the US House Intelligence Committee, warned that al Qaeda allies in Syria were now "talking about conducting external operations, which is exactly what happened in Afghanistan, which led to 9/11." Days later, a senior US administration official said that ISIS is "really a transnational threat network," that poses "[an] increasing threat to our regional partners, and it's an increasing threat to us.".................

......The recent videos from ISIS, Al Nusrah, Muhajireen Army, and Uzbek jihadist training camps are reminiscent of others released by al Qaeda from the network of camps in Afghanistan during the 1990s. Al Qaeda used camps such as Khalden and Al Farouq to churn out thousands of foreign fighters who fought alongside the Taliban in the 55th Arab Brigade. Significantly, al Qaeda also selected graduates of the camps to conduct attacks in the West, including the 9/11 operation against the US. ...............

...........Efforts to track these individuals are sketchy at best, and it would appear that in most cases, the whereabouts of a returning Syrian fighter is not generally known until he or she commits a terrorist act. The problem is exacerbated by the jihadist groups' efforts to obscure the identities of fighters; in December, the Wall Street Journal reported that groups such as the Al Nusrah Front and the ISIS confiscate foreign fighters' passports and reuse them for other purposes; in addition, jihadists' deaths may be faked in order to erase their biometric data from Western databases.

The Long War Journal has noted a number of instances since 2011 in which jihadists, usually in cooperation with al Qaeda-linked groups, have left Syria and established new terrorist networks, recruited more fighters, and carried out attacks. The following list, arranged geographically, is a just a sampling. It does not include Syrian-related jihadist activity in Lebanon, Iraq, or Turkey, which is beyond the scope of this article; nor does it attempt to list every nationality in the Syrian foreign fighter ranks, as jihadists from over 70 countries are now fighting in Syria. The list below merely highlights some of the terrorist activity outside Syria that is being carried out by individuals who have participated in the Syrian jihad...............

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