Friday, May 30, 2014

Foreign Jihadis Fighting in Syria Pose Risk in West

By KIMIKO DE FREYTAS-TAMURA, NYT, MAY 29, 2014

LONDON — Two years ago, a young man who now calls himself Abu Muhajir slipped into Syria with a few friends and $80,000, forsaking what he said was a job as a high school science teacher in North America to wage jihad.

In a conversation conducted by text message in recent weeks, he said he was raised in a religious family, studied at a madrasa on Sundays and had no non-Muslim friends growing up. And he suggested that Western governments could indeed have cause to be worried that the foreign jihadis in Syria might someday return home to carry out attacks.

“Attacks occurring on the soil of Middle Eastern countries,” he said. “We can only expect a response. Americans are still in Afghanistan.”

More than 70 Americans are thought by intelligence and counterterrorism officials to have traveled to Syria to fight the government of President Bashar al-Assad. One of them, still publicly unidentified, carried out a suicide bombing there on Sunday, making him the first United States citizen believed to have been involved in such an attack.

(More here.)

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