Sunday, October 23, 2016
The EU Expects A Flood Of Islamic State Fighters Fleeing To Europe Once Mosul Falls
Washington Post: E.U. authorities brace for wave of Islamic State fighters after Mosul assault
BRUSSELS — A long-awaited offensive this week to dislodge the Islamic State from its stronghold city of Mosul is fueling fears of renewed terrorist attacks, as European counterterrorism officials say more fighters are returning home after waging jihad in Syria and Iraq.
The security concerns are a major focus of European intelligence agencies as the Iraqi army and its partners press the assault on Mosul, which the Islamic State has used as a capital for planning and operations for more than two years. Attacks in Paris and Brussels in recent years have been conducted by locally born attackers who in some cases trained with the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, then returned home.
The threat underlines a central dilemma facing leaders of nations where the Islamic State has carried out terrorist attacks: Even as they support efforts to defeat the group on the ground, they risk dislodging its adherents and casting them elsewhere. Top officials say that they are raising their vigilance as thousands of people stream out of Mosul, which is under heavy bombardment in the largest operation for Iraqi security forces since they were formed after toppling Saddam Hussein.
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WNU Editor: If they remain in Iraq they will eventually be hunted down and killed. Faced with such an option .... I expect most will flee to Syria, and the rest (especially the European fighters) will flee back to Europe.