A report by the European Union (EU) published yesterday, warns that a third of the estimated 5,000 European fighters who went to Syria and Iraq have returned to Europe, and some may have orders to carry out attacks.
The report, which will be presented to EU interior ministers tomorrow by the bloc’s Counter-Terrorism Coordinator Gilles de Kerchove, concluded that a third, up to 1,750 terrorists may have returned home.
Fifty per cent of the terrorists remain in battle, which amounted to between 2,000 and 2,500 Europeans, while between 15 to 20 per cent of those who joined the terrorists have died, the report added.
The report also said that there were two types of “foreign terrorist fighters” returning, identifying them as “those in the majority that will drift back, and those who will be sent back on specific missions, which are of most concern.”
Describing known terrorists that have returned, it stated that some returnees have been convicted and are serving prison sentences, while others are being carefully monitored and some are free in their communities. No figures were given for these different categories.