• Monty Alexander

ISIS supporters return home after territory is lost


Over 5,600 Islamic State supporters have returned to their home countries as the Islamic State loses territory. This includes an estimated 850 people from the United Kingdom. The Islamic State "caliphate" has lost much territory since 2015. Statistics from the Soufan Group show that most foreign fighters come from Russia, followed by Saudi Arabia, Jordan, and Tunisia, making these countries the biggest sources of Islamic State foreign fighters.

Last week, the U.S.-backed alliance of Syrian, Kurdish, and Arab fighters had taken back full control of the Islamic State's de facto capital, Raqqa, according to the BBC. The information found in the capital helped confirm identities of 19,000 of over 40,000 foreign fighters from over 110 countries came to Iraq and Syria to join the Islamic State. What happened to these people and where they have gone is the biggest question which remains to be answered.

In 2014, ISIS had reached its peak. It controlled over 100,000 square kilometers of land with most territorial control in both Syria and Iraq.

ISIS still has a chance of revival, as there are still people who support the Islamic State and are still a threat. The president of Borealis Threat and Risk Consulting, Phil Gurski, said "The caliphate may be dead, but the terrorist ideology is still alive.”

With ISIS supporters and fighters returning to their home countries, the question about how to prepare for their return must now be addressed.

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