Jihadists from 80 countries fighting with Islamic State

Foreign fighters are flocking to Iraq and Syria on an unprecedented scale, says UN report obtained by the Guardian

Haaretz, Israel/October 31, 2014

Foreign jihadists are joining the conflicts in Iraq and Syria on "an unprecedented scale," according to a United Nations report obtained by the Guardian, which states the jihadists come from more than 80 countries.

The report says 15,000 people have traveled to the two countries to join forces with the Islamic State, some originating from countries that have not "previously faced challenges relating to al-Qaida," according to the Guardian.

Those numbers match recent estimates disclosed by American intelligence officials this week.

The UN report did not list the 80 countries from which foreign fighters have flocked to Iraq and Syria, but it added that Islamic State supporters come from diverse places and backgrounds.

“There are instances of foreign terrorist fighters from France, the Russian Federation and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland operating together,” says the report produced by a security council committee that monitors Al-Qaida.

The report also concluded that Al-Qaida, which has been sidelined by the more militant Islamic State, has been "maneuvering for relevance."

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