September 21, 2014 By Kabir Taneja - TheDiplomat
So far, few Indians have joined the extremists, but gaps in New Delhi’s ability to track them are worrying.
The terrorist group Islamic State of Syria and the Levant (ISIS) or, as it likes to call itself, the “Islamic State,” has managed to attract Islamist fighters not just from the Middle East but all across the world.
According to data released by the International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation and Political Violence (ICSR), a London-based think tank, would-be jihadists from countries as far away as Australia and Norway have joined the ranks of the ISIS, which recently announced that the territory it controls, greater than the landmass of the United Kingdom, is now a “caliphate” led by the group’s elusive leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.
According to ICSR, most of the overseas fighters populating the ranks of the ISIS have come from Tunisia (3,000 plus), Saudi Arabia (2,500 plus), and other regional Gulf members. However, the organization also notes that Western countries are also rapidly adding to the ISIS numbers, with France (around 700) and Britain (around 500) leading the pack. Even China has figured prominently, with more than 100 jihadists of Chinese origin thought to have fought with ISIS. According to latest estimates by America’s Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), the terror group may have up to 30,000 personnel under its command across Iraq, Syria, and possibly even beyond that.
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