Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) - a militant group whose methods are seen too violent and extreme even for Al Qaeda - seems to be pulling in foreign nationals in its armed struggle. In a recent photo leak, released by ISIS sources, a French family is shown as a part of the ISIS; but that's just the tip of the iceberg.
ISIS, termed as an armed terrorist group, has a significant presence in both Iraq and Syria and is a hardcore fundamentalist group that has a strong hold in northern Syria. And the towns under its control have to adhere by strict Sharia law.
— Zaid Benjamin (@zaidbenjamin) March 3, 2014
While the news that even French nationals may be a part of the ISIS is certainly discomforting, they are not alone. Several European, including Belgian, Danish and the UK, nationals are also part of the terrorist group. BBC states that there are over 11,000 foreign nationals fighting along with the terrorist groups in Syria.
What is more startling is the fact that nationals from Saudi Arabia, Chechnya, Europe and Iraq have been able to enter the country, and many were able to avoid detection from their respective governments.
"Most do their best to stay off the radar, and that's especially true of the ones who hope to return home without being arrested by wary authorities," Mike Giglio notes in an article in Assyrian International News Agency.
What is more worrisome is that the ISIS is turning out to be the key recruiter. Giglio reveals that the foreign fighters are joining the ISIS, the al-Qaeda-inspired faction known for kidnapping western aid workers and journalists, and imposing a reign of terror on residents in the areas it control.
In a recent act of their violent stance, the group posted live tweets of the punishment to man who was caught stealing. The group posted pictures of the man getting his hand chopped off. (watch video here)
While the larger question is, "where will the foreign nationals aiding the terror groups go, once the war is over?"