Report: 173 ISIS Fighters Trained To Attack Europe

REUTERS/Yves Herman

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Jacob Bojesson Foreign Correspondent
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International police agency Interpol has identified 173 Islamic State fighters who likely received training in the Middle East to carry out suicide attacks in Europe, the Guardian reported Friday.

The list was compiled in cooperation with U.S. intelligence based on information obtained during the assault to recapture ISIS-held territories in Syria and Iraq.

It is unclear how many people on the list have left the Middle East for Europe, but they are all believed to have the ability to travel internationally. The jihadis were picked because they “manifested willingness to commit a suicidal attack or martyrdom to support Islam,” according to Interpol.

“[Individuals] may have been trained to build and position improvised explosive devices in order to cause serious deaths and injuries,” an Interpol document obtained by the Guardian reads. “It is believed that they can travel internationally, to participate in terrorist activities.”

European authorities fear that the eventual fall of ISIS could flood the continent with jihadis who look for revenge. Nearly 30 percent of European ISIS fighters have returned to the continent, according to the U.S. Department of State’s annual country report on terrorism. (RELATED: 30 Percent Of European-Born ISIS Fighters Are Returning To Their Homes, US Believes)

U.S.-based security intelligence advisory firm, The Soufan Group, estimates approximately 5,000 Western European fighters traveled to Iraq and Syria to join ISIS in 2015 alone.

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