A Chechen Islamic State jihadist has been identified as one of the suicide bombers responsible for the Istanbul airport attack which left 43 dead and 230 injured.
From the start of the Islamic State’s rise through the chaos of the Syrian war, Turkey has played a central, if complicated, role in the group’s story. For years, it served as a rear base, transit hub and shopping bazaar for the Islamic State, and at first, that may have protected Turkey from the violence the group has inflicted elsewhere.
In this article, Jane Arraf, explores the ways in which the battle for the Islamic State stronghold still rages, with civilians bearing the brunt of the horrors of war.
In mid June 2016, a monument was finalised in Syria’s northeastern Kurdish city of Qamishl0 [Qamishli] to commemorate foreign fighters who have been killed in the war against ISIS.
Europe’s anti-terrorism chief Gilles de Kerchove also said it was likely newly-radicalised men and women would return to Europe from Syria and Iraq “sooner than expected.”
The Combating Terrorism Centre at West Point (United States Military Academy) recently made available a report, which provides data of some 4,600 foreign fighters recruited between early 2013 and 2014. What has become clear from the data presented is that the IS recruits from over 70 countries and that means the global workforce IS commands brings with them different skills and capabilities. The educational backgrounds of foreign fighters vary widely and the group has benefitted enormously as most of the fighters have received higher education.
Al-Qaida’s Syrian affiliate, Jabat al-Nusra, just absorbed Syrian militant group Army of Muhammed, increasing its power in northern Syria as the Islamic State continues to lose territory. The Army of Muhammed is largely comprised of Libyan and French foreign fighters, and it is the latest in a series of foreign fighters who are swearing allegiance to Jabat al-Nusra.