Islamic State Crisis: ‘3,000 European Jihadists Join Fight’

BBC, September 26, 2014

The number of Europeans joining Islamist fighters in Syria and Iraq has risen to more than 3,000, the EU’s anti-terrorism chief has told the BBC.

Gilles de Kerchove also warned that Western air strikes would increase the risk of retaliatory attacks in Europe.

US-led forces have launched more than 200 air strikes against Islamic State (IS) militants in Iraq since August and on Monday began targeting IS in Syria.

The UK parliament is due to vote on possible air strikes in Iraq on Friday.

IS–also known as Isil or Isis–has seized large parts of Iraq and Syria in recent months.

Mr de Kerchove said the number of 3,000 included all those who have been to the region, including those who have returned and those who have been killed there.

The CIA estimates that IS may have up to 31,000 fighters in Iraq and Syria–three times as many as previously feared.

Mr de Kerchove said that Islamic State’s declaration of a caliphate in June may have played a role in drawing more support from Europe.

“If you believe in this, probably you want to be part of it as early as possible,” he said.

He warned that air strikes by the US and its Western allies had increased the risk of a violent response from militant Islamists against European targets.

“That was clear with the French because three days ago [IS] issued a statement saying there would be retaliation against the coalition. A French man was kidnapped in Algeria and he has been beheaded. So they did what they announced,” he said.

Mr de Kerchove also warned that groups competing with IS, such as al-Qaeda, may try to launch attacks in Europe to maintain their profile.

“The rise of [IS] may prompt al-Qaeda to do something to show that it is still relevant,” he said.

Suspects arrested

On Friday, Spain’s interior ministry said Spanish and Moroccan police had arrested nine people suspected of belonging to a militant cell linked to the IS group.

A statement from the ministry said the suspects belonged to a group based in the Spanish enclave of Melilla, on the northern coast of Africa, and the neighbouring town of Nador, in Morocco.

One of those arrested is reported to be Spanish; the rest are Moroccan nationals.

Earlier this week, the UN Security Council adopted a binding resolution compelling states to prevent their nationals from joining jihadists in Iraq and Syria.

The US military released footage of air strikes on IS-controlled oil refineries in eastern Syria on Thursday, carried out by US, Saudi and UAE aircraft.

Sales of smuggled crude oil have helped finance the jihadists’ offensive in both countries.

Three new strikes targeting IS positions in Deir al-Zour in eastern Syria were confirmed by the US on Friday morning.

The UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which monitors the conflict in Syria, said the new strikes caused casualties but the numbers were unclear.

Pentagon spokesman Rear Admiral John Kirby said the purpose of Thursday’s strikes was “not necessarily to kill militants” but to destroy the oil facilities, which were funding IS through the black market.

He said the strikes had been effective but not yet decisive, adding that IS militants “still have financing at their fingertips”.

He said it was too soon to talk of “winning” against IS, adding that they still “have plenty of weapons and vehicles and the ability to move around”.

UK votes on action

The US says more than 40 countries have offered to join the anti-IS coalition.

The Danish government announced on Friday it would be joining the military operations against IS–but only in Iraq.

Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt said the move needed to be approved in a vote in Denmark’s parliament, but said it was considered a formality. No date was given for the vote.

She told reporters the deployment would consist of seven F-16 fighter jets–four operational planes and three in reserve–along with 250 pilots and support staff.

MPs in the UK are currently debating joining the air strikes on IS in Iraq.

The office of Prime Minister David Cameron said UK forces could legally join the bombing of targets in Iraq after the Iraqi minister of foreign affairs wrote to the UN seeking international assistance.

Mr Cameron told the UN on Wednesday IS was an “evil against which the whole world must unite”.

The Australian Prime Minister, Tony Abbott, says his government will decide in the coming days whether to join the air strikes in Iraq and Syria.

Mr Abbott said it was in Australia’s interest to play its part in what he called the fight “against the murderous death cult”.

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  • Oil Can Harry

    Obama and the neocons in 2013: “We must bomb Assad’s forces in order to help the Syrian rebels take over.”

    Obama and the neocons in 2014: “We must bomb the Syrian rebels to prevent them from overthrowing Assad and taking over.”

    • And now we’re going to help arm “moderate Syrian rebels.” Even if there were actually such people and they were bona fide, the disparate impact of helping them is to hurt Assad which in turn means helping ISIS/IS/ISIL/AQ.

      • Oil Can Harry

        Never mind that the “moderate” (cough cough) Muslim rebels/ terrorists were the ones who handed one of the US journalists (perhaps it was James Foley) over to IS to be beheaded.

    • dd121

      The lefties seem very confused over who’s side to join. It’s obvious that Assad is the guy we should support. If we had kept supporting Saddam Hussein the current mess wouldn’t have developed..

      • Oil Can Harry

        We should absolutely support Assad just like Putin does. Assad protects Syria’s Christians and keeps Islamic fundamentalists from taking over.

        Unfortunately Assad is hated by the Israel lobby so Obama and the neocons want him dead- and to hell with all the Christians and Syrian civilians who’ll die in the process.

        • OS-Q

          I don’t get why the Israelis would hate Assad, other then out of a pointless grudge. He seems like a natural ally for both us and Israel.

          • Xerxes22

            Assad supports Hezbollah which is a mortal enemy of Israel and has inflicted heavy losses on the Israeli army. That’s why Israel and the neo-cons want him out.

          • OS-Q

            That makes sense. Thanks

          • Jimmy Joseph

            Also, Assad is more dangerous due to the Shia crescent.

            ISIS is more of a ragtag army without nukes. Using ISIS to weaken the Shia would be beneficial for Israel.

            However, the more they kill each other, the better it is for the Western world as well.

            When they are killing each other, they are less likely to form terrorists cells to attack the West. They will be focused on killing each other.

          • Periapsis

            Agreed, the more they fight among themselves, the less they are a threat to us as long as they do that in their lands, not ours. If they do this among us, that is a whole ‘nother story, we will have to crush both sides mercilessly.

          • Periapsis

            Jews hate Christians, Israel hates Christians, and the elite who rule the U.S. hates Christians. That is one reason why they have been trying to destroy Syria. Another reason is they did help Hezbollah, which in the last war in Lebanon destroyed sixty Israeli main battle tanks with the latest Russian tank killing portable missiles. A third reason is they are one of Iran’s few Allies. Syria also has had forces in Lebanon. Another is Russia has a naval base there, and Israel has been trying to cut Russia off from the Black Sea and the Mediterranean Sea. Israel wants Islamist regimes in place in ever Middle Eastern nation, and not just to exterminate or force out Christians and other non-Muslims. They intend to drive them into OUR lands to foment the Crusades 2.0.

        • Jimmy Joseph

          How about we stay out of it and let them exterminate each other.

          Sunnis and Shias killing each other = WINNING.

          Just don’t let them come into the West.

        • dd121

          Good point. I was searching for a reason why Obama & Co doesn’t like Assad. The only reason I could find was that Barack Hussein is a Muslin and wants to defeat the secularists and install an ISIS caliphate. Look around the region and there is one common denominator: Those areas that were contested when he came to office are now run by radical Muslims.

        • I wouldn’t be in too much of a hurry to blame Israel here; the last thing they want is an ISIS-run caliphate in place of Syria. As the saying goes, “Better the devil you know than the one you don’t.” Assad at least represents (represented?) a far more responsible form of government than anything ISIS could produce, even on a good day.

          • adplatt126

            I’m not sure Israel loves stability. A stable government, that brings in tax revenue can build a military, fund resistance movements (like Hesbollah). Israel’s basic philosophy seems to have always been to turn the rest of the world into paupers, brainwashed fools, and ruined states. That strategy seems to give them an insurmountable military and economic advantage. To hell with everyone else. They don’t operate ethically. If it’s bad for you, it’s good for them. Israel operates as if it is safest when the Palestinians are weakest in every sense (wealth, governmental organization, solidarity).

          • Syria had a fairly good military for decades, but the last time Israel and Syria fought, it was in the Bekaa Valley in 1982. Syria wants the Golan Heights back, but they were not prepared to try conclusions with the IDF over the issue. Syria also wants the Hatay province from Turkey. What the Israelis had with Assad’s Syria was rather like having a grumpy old man who lives next door: not savory company, but otherwise relatively harmless.

            A great example is the contrast between the Palestinian Authority on the West Bank and Hamas in Gaza. The P.A. doesn’t do the rocket thing. I’m not religious, let alone Jewish, so writing strictly from a nation-state standpoint, a stable Assad-run Syria is a far better deal for Israel – and Jordan, Lebanon and Iraq – than a Syria that has been turned into some sort of medieval Al Qaeda sanctuary.

      • MBlanc46

        Okay, there’s something to what you say. I’d think that a better course would be to just get the hell out of the Middle East, North Africa, and Central Asia. Break off diplomatic relations. Notify Americans that if they travel there, they won’t have the protection of the US government. Expel all their nationals from the US. Let them keep their oil.

        • dd121

          What you say has a wide appeal to many. The complication is our involvement with the Jewish state and their influence in our foreign affairs. They would do everything they could to keep us involved in the region, fighting their proxy wars.
          Even if we could disengage, we’ve poked a hornets nest and I don’t believe they’re going to forgive and forget so easily.

          • The Islamitards in ISIS have already said that they want Spain “back”. It’s nothing we did. The transformation to democracy was successful in Tunisia, but has been a disaster in Libya, and a budding disaster in Egypt was only cut short by the Egyptian military, who’s crackdown on peaceful dissidents is guaranteed to produce more yet violence. The elected government in Afghanistan has written an entire new book on political corruption. In Iraq, democracy produced a vicious civil war between Shi’ites and Sunnis. Even recently, when the Iraqi army and Kurdish Peshmerga teamed up – backed up by US airstrikes – to recapture a major hydroelectric dam, the first thing they did was quarrel over who would get the credit.

            These aren’t really countries; they’re just places where people die.

    • OS-Q

      I wish we were helping Assad.

      If we had skilled and ruthless diplomat in the White House we could probably make a grand alliance of Shiites, Kurds, Yazidis, Alawites, Christians, and, yes, Jews, and just wipe out and humiliate the Wahabists in ISIS and Al-Qaeda all over the mid-east – then make the Saudis feel fear and respect for us.

      Heck, if we endorsed Shia Islam as the “true Islam” we’d have millions ready to help put most of the troublemakers back in their place. We’d be the “Great Satan” to half as many people as we are now today.

      After that, we could use a divide and conquer strategy if any of our “allies” start working against us.

      Or we could just stay out of religious and ethnic wars in the middle east.

      Of course, BO can’t admit being wrong, so we have to berate the Iraqi government for not being “inclusive” enough to ISIS sympathizers.

      We are going to help arm the people ISIS is just going to overwhelm and absorb into their ranks, while trying to fight Assad at the same time.

      • Jimmy Joseph

        I have a better idea.

        Stay out of it and let them exterminate each other.

        Block all Islamic immigration to the USA. In fact, lets stop ALL immigration to the USA for the next 50 years.

        • OS-Q

          That is a much better idea.

          I was mostly thinking about how America would do it, if all we did care about was Israel and Oil, rather than the confused and idiotic goals and policies of the Democrats and Neocons.

          • Jimmy Joseph


            We have to worry about oil though, unless we get off of it through fracking.

            This is a national security issue.

      • JSS

        Jews would have no interest in such an alliance. If you pay attention you
        would notice that regardless of all their rhetoric radical Sunnis and Israel get along just fine and have the same enemies. When was the last time Wahabbis ever attacked Israel?

        • OS-Q


          A recent ISIS statement was as follows: “We haven’t given orders to kill the Israelis and the Jews. The war
          against the nearer enemy, those who rebel against the faith, is more
          important. Allah commands us in the Koran to fight the hypocrites,
          because they are much more dangerous than those who are fundamentally

          Though the reality is that: Its harder to get to Israel, and its easier to kill Iraqi Army rookies, other terrorists, nuns, and journalists than it is to fight Israel’s trained and merciless army and air-force. So terrorizing Israel is probably a goal ISIS-types will never bother to reach.

          In my hypothetical situation, though, we wouldn’t give Israel a choice in the matter.

          • JSS

            Israel has killed plenty of non combatants in their recent wars as well. Their methods aren’t any different when it comes to raw body counts of civilian dead. Israel’s actual enemies like Hamas and Hezbollah have little trouble hitting Israel though Hezbollah rockets do little damage. On the other hand Hamas out right defeated israel in 2007 even with israels mighty air force and IDF. An interesting side note is that Hamas and Hezbollah are anti ISIS and have actually fought them. Unlike Israel our greatest allie in the Middle East.

          • Jimmy Joseph

            Don’t remember Hamas “winning” any conflicts with Israel.

            I watch Middle East politics. When did this happen?

          • JSS

            Your right I had my facts backwards. Hezbollah defeated Israel in 2006. That’s what I was thinking of.

          • Jimmy Joseph

            Hezbollah didn’t “defeat” Israel, it was largely a stalemate with Israel killing far more Hezbollah than vice versa.

            Hezbollah never won any battles, just weren’t complete obliterated.

          • Periapsis

            Not true, destroying sixty main battle tanks, striking back at Israeli civilians and preventing Israel from attaining it’s goal of crushing Hezbollah was a defeat. Hezbollah proved they can make any Israeli victory very costly by bringing them to battle in urban areas. That is how you win wars, make any victory so costly in lives and materiel they are either wiped out or vulnerable to another attacker. Israel is surrounded by enemies who will one day destroy it. It’s only a matter of when, not if. Winning battles is one thing, but Israel lost the war. Hezbollah is still there, and now ISIS, Syria and others all have a very good reason to attack Israel. They know just as we do there’s more than one way to skin a cat.

          • Jimmy Joseph

            ISIS and Hezbollah hate each other. Sunni vs Shia. SO I don’t know where you are getting this idea that they will work together against Israel.

            ISIS is killing Hezbollah fighters in Syria as we speak. ISIS is literally beheading Hezbollah and Shiites throughout Syria and Iraq. They consider Hezbollah and Shiites the “near enemy”, which is a bigger problem than Israel.

            Dunno if Israel will be “wiped out ” or not but considering their nuclear arsenal, they would take a lot of people with them. For now, I don’t see any credible force taking them out unless Iran wants to go suicidal.

          • The other flaw in the IDF is that the Orthodox Jews there are exempt from military conscription, even though their West Bank settlements are in large part responsible for driving the conflict with the Palestinians. In other words, Orthodox Jews don’t have to pay to play.

          • Jimmy Joseph

            Thats true.

            They should be forced to fight.

          • adplatt126

            I don’t know about the second part, but the first part is right.

          • Bantu_Education

            The problem is that Israel, and every other “western” military has to fight with one arm and one leg tied in order to minimise civilian deaths. The enemy knows this and so they hide amongst civilians and deliberately try to maximise civilian deaths. This is the fault of the media and the baleful influence of weepy liberals. Since the Vietnam War these touchy-feely media “wars” the West has not decisively won a single war, and we never shall unless we ignore and even maximise civilian deaths as we did in WW2. Imagine what the outcome of WW2 would have been if the allies refrained from attacking SS units because a few civilians were around them? I wish we had done, then the right side would have won and we wouldn’t have been in this mess.

          • NoMosqueHere

            Terrorism works. It wins wars. We terrorized the japanese with the nuke attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. And we terrorized the germans with unrelenting bombing of their cities, killing men, women and children.

            America’s involvement in WWII lasted only 3 1/2 years. Back then, our leaders knew the most humane war ends quickly and decisively and without apologies.

          • Japan was essentially finished anyway. The atomic bombings merely gave them an excuse to surrender. Having seen firsthand what fighting in built-up areas does, the bombings also represented a net saving of Japanese civilian lives, compared to what Operation Coronet and Operation Downfall would have done.

            Some folks who ought to know better have suggested that the US should have simply blockaded Japan and starved them out. This would have worked, as food rationing had been imposed in Japan even before the Pacific War, due to a series of bad harvests in Korea (the poor Koreans were left eating livestock-grade millet). By 1945, Japan was already effectively blockaded. US submarines had run out of targets worth the expense of torpedoes, and were busily laying mines. Some of them carried rockets instead, for shooting up coastal targets like sawmills. The army air force got into the act as well, laying mines by air-dropping them. The late-war mine campaign in Japanese waters was so successful that it remained classified until about 1970. The problem was that a lot of civilians were going to starve, freeze or die of disease. You can bet that the leaders of Japan’s military junta weren’t going to be hungry in any event, but those were the people we needed to convince.

          • JSS

            Given Israelis superiority in American provided weapons I would say Hezbollah won. But I suspect your one of those individuals who think that because they bomb Palestinian orphanages and hospitals that makes them good guys against the Muslims and all that. In any case the Israeli military leadership even admitted the IDF and air force performed poorly.

          • Jimmy Joseph

            LOL Palestinian orphanages.

            America and other Western allies just bombed “orphanages and schools” in ISIS controlled territory.

            Stop the David Duke rhetoric. David Duke should just convert to Islam already, he seems to love them.

            IDF “performed poorly” in that they didn’t totally crush Hezbollah. However, it was a stalemate, which is considered a loss due to the IDF usually totally annihilating their Arab opponents.

          • JSS

            You should stop with the Hannity and Limbaugh rhetoric. Limbaugh and Hannity should just convert to Judaism sense they love them so much.

            Your right though that White males should take some responsibility and get things under control again. I think the 1492 Spanish method, the 1290 English method and 1933 German method are good examples.

            In the Lebanon war Hezbollah held their ground and Israel left the battlefield with its tail between its legs. They took hundreds of KIA and lost dozens of tanks to an enemy they utterly outgunned and outnumbered. But yeah I guess that’s a good performance.

          • Jimmy Joseph

            LOl I guess we’ll agree to disagree about who won and lost that conflict.

            Regardless, you must admit that David Duke never talks about the Muslim invasions of Europe.

            I read his website. It only mentions Jews exclusively.

            Nothing happens independent of “Jews”.

            Ridiculous propaganda that won’t get anywhere. Plus its factually incorrect.

            Calling out the Jews is fine as long as it is accurate.

            Blaming them for everything in the world is a ridiculous pathology. It is also a nice mythology that makes us feel “warm and fuzzy” because we are afraid to confront other inconvenient truths about feminism and other White weaknesses.

            For instance, if the “Jews” provided the gun of feminism to White women (which is debatable), why did White women so enthusiastically pull the trigger?

            Why is the one who gave the gun more guilty than the one who pulled the trigger?

            Also, who should be more loyal to Whites, White women or Jews?

            White Knight Nationalists never explain why White women were so eager and willing to pull the trigger of feminism.

            They also fail to explain why single White women strongly vote Democratic, open borders, affirmative action, abortion, etc.

          • Periapsis

            They are very brave at killing defenseless people, quite cowardly when fighting someone who is equally capable of killing THEM without so much as a twinge of remorse.

      • dd121

        The Jews and neo cons don’t want a grand alliance of those folks. Quite the contrary. After WWI the western powers divided the region into feuding factions that would keep them divided and weak. That’s still working very nicely, for the time being.

    • Publius Pompilius Quietus

      The never ending posturing, re-posturing, and crisis-fomenting shows how fundamentally contradictory and stupid is neoconservatives’ philosophy. We should poke our overly large nose into every inane ethno-religious crisis in the Middle East, according to them, but ignore problems with immigration. The invasion of the West vis a vis immigration is a bigger threat to us than ISIS or any other kooky Arab religious cult, of course.

    • adplatt126

      LOL. Exactly. I’ll never forget when McCain was pressing for the overthrow of the Assad regime by funding the rebels, whilst praising the free Syrian Army and arguing that it was absolutely distinct from radical Islam. Then he visited Syria and someone took a picture of him shaking hands with a known terrorist who had recently kidnapped a Western journalist. What a dolt. Just rich. Remember when he was accusing Obama of “palling around with terrorists”? That Jon Stewart bit was roll on the floor funny.

  • MekongDelta69

    You (including us), wouldn’t have had a problem if you hadn’t let these savages into your (and our) country(ies) in the first place.

    But, nooooo – leftists wanted ‘tolerance and diversity and incluuuuusion,’ so they could feel good about themselves and proclaim themselves better people than us. Results never counted – only feeeeelings did.

  • propagandaoftruth

    Only 3000? Encourage them to go. Get them all in one place. Target acquired. Problem dealt with.

    Encourage more to go, repeat and rinse in cold water until stain is gone.

    • Jimmy Joseph

      Encourage Muslims to emigrate for “jihad”.

      Ban all future Muslim immigration.

      Sunnis and Shias slaughtering each other= WINNING.

      Send them to the meat grinder.

    • Paleoconn

      I’d like to see a few more zeros to that figure. ISIS might be the best thing to happen to Muslim-infested western countries.

      • ISIS and jihad in Syria and Iraq – if handled correctly, with lots and lots of cluster bombs – would represent a sort of “Roach Motel” for Europe’s would-be jihadis. To paraphrase the old TV commercial, they would check in, but never check out.

        • Periapsis

          The same will be true for civilians, children especially. Not that soldiers unfortunate enough to be where these bomblets rain down wouldn’t all be killed or maimed horribly. These bomblets are as powerful or more powerful than a mortal shell, but cannot be disarmed. Worse, many fail to explode on impact or are deliberately made to lie in wait for the first person or vehicle to set them off. They will be dangerous for 50 years, or longer. There is no way to clear them other than finding them, and blowing them up one at a time in place. And with age, these bomblets are going to start exploding on their own or become very unstable. Anyway you look at it, a lot of innocent people are going to be killed by blast and fragmentation when they are set off unwittingly by someone who steps on, disturbs or picks one up. You could have easily been killed or worse yet maimed by one in Croatia. That region has mines everywhere, because of the actions of ALL warring parties. No, if I was going to plan such an operation, I would use fuel-air or thermobaric bombs, vaporize them and then leave.

          • The fact that some are “duds” is sometimes a feature, not a bug. In all honesty, sane people want the locals to resume normal life as quickly as possible, so the US DoD has been replacing its old DPICM cluster munitions for precisely this reason.

            The one in your picture looks Serb.

          • Periapsis

            It could well be, the script is definitely not western. I wouldn’t move one if I found it, I would mark it with a stake to warn others away.

  • Zimriel

    I must call “domestic livestock exhaust” on this notion that bombing Islamic targets encourages more terrorism.

    What encourages terrorism is terroristic ideology. Right now the foremost of such ideologies would be Islam, itself. If you bomb them, they’ll cry martyrdom and bomb us. If you don’t bomb them, they’ll call us weak and bomb us.

    The answer is just to bomb and kill as many of them as still profess this “jihad” ideology, until the rest of them get a clue and drop it.

  • KenelmDigby

    Will all media sources – including Amren – please cease and desist from referring to these jihadis as ‘Europeans’. ‘European’ is quite frankly a racial term, and is, actually, a better and more correct term to use than ‘White’ to describe populations originating from Europe.
    The jihadis referred to are neither ‘European’ or ‘White’ – in honest terms they are purely and simply Asiatic invaders – invited in by the politicians – into European . They are NOT repeat NOT Europeans.

  • LHathaway

    ‘European’ could mean from ‘turkmanistan’ or something?

    • Periapsis


  • De Doc

    Let’s be honest though, how many of these creeps are really Europeans?

  • ghettovalley

    They should all be returned to whatever dangerous filthy gutter their ancestors crawled out of. After which they should then be denied entry into any white western nation.

  • A Freespeechzone

    I’d be more than willing to bet that there are at least, if not more than 3,000 jihadists in the USA primed and set to attack us from within.

    Open borders, deafening silence denouncing from the so-called ‘moderate’ terror cells, I mean mosques, CAIR and other organizations are telling.

    When we are hit again, and we will, most of the terror will come from within. I’m sure this is no secret to the Obama administration.

    • Periapsis

      That is why Obammy, Loonberg and other hostile racial aliens are trying to disarm us. They want a small number of jihadis to be able to kill huge numbers of whites without interference, or resistance.