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Returning Jihadis: Europe’s Worst Nightmare

Returning Jihadis: Europe’s Worst Nightmare
As the War on Daesh enters its final phase in the Race for Raqqa, many in Europe are frightened that their jihad-seeking nationals will escape from the fray and return back home to wreak havoc.

Sky News reported that unnamed British security sources informed the outlet that approximately 400 jihadi fighters have already returned to the island, and it can be assumed that Germany, France, and other European countries are bracing for something similar to occur as well. The problem is that so many of these countries’ nationals migrated to the Mideast to carry out jihad alongside the “Islamic State”, but now that their dystopian entity is on the break of defeat, they might flee from the battlefield and bring their battle-tested experience with them wherever they go next. Considering that many of these EU-originating fighters were living relatively normal lives prior to this conflict, whether as immigrants or actual citizens, it’s forecast that they’ll go back to the bloc once this is all over, though as completely changed men compared to what they were before.

The problem with religious, political, or any other sort of ideological fundamentalism and terrorist predispositions is that they’re almost impossible to spot with the naked eye, and even the sort of “enhanced vetting” that Trump wants to implement has its realistic limits. The major vulnerability facing Europe right now is that most of the fighters that came from the continent have legitimate EU passports and can thus travel all around the continent without any restrictions, meaning that they could easily – at least in theory – return back home without being noticed. If the authorities already know who to look for, then that’s a whole different story, but in which case the returning jihadis might infiltrate into Europe under the guise of a “refugee” or “immigrant”, which has reportedly been done before. The thousands of EU-originating jihadis who are poised to boomerang back to Europe present a formidable security threat, and in all likelihood, some of them will probably end up slipping past the defensive measures in place and returning undetected.

There’s a chance that these jihadis might turn a new leaf and become responsible immigrants or citizens, but most reasonable people doubt that’ll be the case. Instead, it’s predicted that they’ll propagate radical jihad in their communities, train new cadre, and plan the next big terrorist attack.

To discuss the topic we linked up with Earl Duthler, Dutch-American political commentator from Amsterdam and Ollie Richardson, Paris-based geopolitical analyst and writer at Stalkerzone.

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