Third of European jihadists back from Syria; 50 in Netherlands

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jihadist. Picture: Twitter/@inhuggermugger

A third of all European foreign rebel fighters in the Syrian Civil War have now returned to their country of birth, according to American think tank Soufan Center. Around 50 jihadists returned to the Netherlands, RTL Nieuws reports.

According to Soufan Center, the returning fighters pose a great danger to the society return to. They don't have a great chance of leading a normal life and stay sensitive to calls from former combatants. 

Throughout Europe, 5,600 jihadists returned to their native country after fighting with terrorist organization ISIS. That is about 30 percent of those who traveled to Syria and Iraq to join the terrorist group. An estimated 280 Dutch jihadists traveled to Syria over the past years. The estimated 50 returnees are therefor a relatively small group compared to other EU countries. For example, half of British jihadists returned - 425 out of 850.

The Soufan Center's research was greatly help by ISIS itself, according to the Volkskrant. Even though the jihadists covered their faces on videos and did their best to stay under the radar, ISIS kept close track of who joined them and from where. During the reconquering of ISIS territory, thousands of such documents were found. 

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