Islamic State lures the poor and the prosperous from 50 countries to build terrorist army
Washington : The Islamic State drew far more fighters from far more countries than its predecessor, a steady flow from far-flung global regions that helps explain the terrorists’ commitment to mass murder and destruction once they arrived to create a ballyhooed promised land.
The Islamic State recruit rosters were filled with not just the poor and abandoned but the educated and presumedly prosperous. The arrivals included lawyers, engineers, police officers and computer technicians — the professionals needed to construct leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi’s warped vision of a so-called caliphate in Syria and Iraq.
In a new report, the Combating Terrorism Center at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, New York, examined actual personnel records from the Islamic State and compared them to predecessor al Qaeda in Iraq (AQI), which al-Baghdadi also headed.
Right off the bat, the big difference between the two is the enticement offered by the Islamic State terrorist army. It began taking territory in 2011 in Iraq and Syria, while AQI was a less-appealing, cell-structured insurgent organization.
In all, the Islamic State has drawn fighters from 50 different countries as of 2014. Today the U.S. estimates its strength at about 20,000 in Iraq and Syria, excluding satellite armies that have arisen in Libya, the Egyptian Sinai, Afghanistan, Pakistan and other places.
“The fact that this totals 50 countries is a sobering reminder of the global nature of the foreign fighter problem faced in the context of the Islamic State,” the West Point analysis says.
Source : Washington Times