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Welcome Home! A Third of Europe's Jihadist Fighters Return From Syria, Iraq

© REUTERS / Ali HashishoAn Islamic State flag hangs amid electric wires over a street.
An Islamic State flag hangs amid electric wires over a street. - Sputnik International
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The number of radicals from 23 EU member states, who fought in Syria and Iraq, estimates between 3,922 and 4,294, according to the report of the International Center for Counter-Terrorism (ICCT) in The Hague.

Broken windows of the terminal at Brussels national airport are seen during a ceremony following bomb attacks in Brussels metro and Belgium's National airport of Zaventem, Belgium, March 23, 2016 - Sputnik International
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MOSCOW (Sputnik) — As many as 30 percent of the up to 4,300 EU citizens, believed to have been radicalized and recruited by jihadist groups to fight in Syria and Iraq, have already returned to their home countries, the International Center for Counter-Terrorism (ICCT) in The Hague said in a report on Friday.

In compiling data for the report, ICCT conducted a survey among 23 EU member states and found that the number of foreign fighters from those countries totals 3,710. However, open source information suggests that the number of radicals from all the countries comprising the union lies between 3,922 and 4,294, it was concluded in the report.

"Many consider returning FF [foreign fighters] as a potential security threat; this research indicates that an average of 30% of FF have returned to their countries of departure," the report reads.

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According to the report, the majority of those recruited by jihadist organizations come from Belgium, France, Germany and the United Kingdom.

Belgium, as the highest per-capita contributor of foreign fighters to jihadist groups, has recently seen an escalation of terror-related incidents. Two suicide blasts ripped through the departures hall of Brussels Airport on March 22. A further explosion occurred at the Maelbeek station near the headquarters of the EU institutions. A total of 35 people died in the attacks, while more than 300 were injured.

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