Geneva, Switzerland – About 150 U.S. citizens have travelled to Syrian in the recent months, Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigations told reports on Tuesday.
The FBI fears that those Americans have mainly travelled to join armed groups in the war-torn country.
“Americans fighting with foreign jihadist groups are a top concern for the FBI because of the possibility they could return to the United States with the training, expertise and connections required to launch an attack on home soil,” FBI Director James Comey said.
“We have tracked coming up on close to 150 people who traveled from the United States to Syria, for all manner of motivations. A significant number of them to fight,” Comey said during a briefing in Boston.
“We are determined not to allow future lines to be drawn from a terrorist diaspora out of Syria to a future 9/11.”
The FBI was paying most attention to those Americans believed to have joined the militant group Islamic State, which has captured swaths of Syria and Iraq and has launched a sophisticated recruitment campaign on the internet, Comey said.
“There we see somewhere in excess of a dozen (Americans who have joined Islamic State) that we have a pretty good handle on,” the FBI Director added. “I don’t have high confidence that I see the entire universe.”
Several American nationals have also joined the ranks of the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) to combat militants of the Islamic State (IS/ISIS), mainly in Kobane and Sere Kaniye, in northern Syria.
Reporting by: Lorin Silo
Source: ARA News
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