Number of foreign fighters pouring into Syria and Iraq has more than DOUBLED: ISIS has helped swell numbers past 27,000 in past year alone

The number of foreign fighters joiningISISand other extremist groups in Iraq andSyriahas more than doubled since last year to at least 27,000, a report by an intelligence consultancy has revealed.The figures, compiled by The Soufan Group, indicate that efforts by countries around the world to stem the flow of foreign fighters to the region and blunt the appeal of violent organisations appear to have made little impact.’The foreign fighter phenomenon in Iraq and Syria is truly global,’ the New York-based security consultancy’s report said.’The Islamic State has seen success beyond the dreams of other terrorist groups that now appear conventional and even old-fashioned, such as Al Qaeda.’It has energised tens of thousands of people to join it, and inspired many more to support it.’

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In all, between 27,000 and 31,000 foreign fighters from 86 countries have travelled to Iraq and Syria, the group said, compared to a figure of around 12,000 foreign fighters in Syria when it last published a similar study in June 2014.The largest number travelled to the two countries, across which ISIS controls a swathe of territory, from the Middle East and the Maghreb, with around 8,000 foreign fighters each.

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