More than one hundred U.S. militants are currently fighting in the extremist insurgency in Syria, according to Western intelligence reports.
The latest U.S. intelligence estimates say that more than 100 U.S. citizens have joined the war in Syria to fight alongside extremist terrorists, the Daily Beast wrote in a new report.
Senior U.S. intelligence officials told the website that they believe six to twelve U.S. citizens who had gone to Syria have now returned to the United States.
“We know where some are,” one senior U.S. intelligence official told The Daily Beast. “The concern is the scale of the problem we are dealing with.”
The scale of that problem by all accounts has gotten worse. Last fall, the official U.S. estimate on U.S. citizens who have joined the war in Syria was in the low double digits.
In January, the New York Times reported that at least 70 U.S. citizens have either traveled or attempted to travel to Syria. Earlier this month, FBI Director James Comey told reporters that he believed “dozens” of U.S. citizens were suspected to be in Syria, but declined to give a more precise number.
In recent months, the U.S. intelligence community has made the tracking of all Westerners going to fight into Syria a top priority.
Syrian government has long been calling on the United Nations Security council to act on multi-national militant groups which are fighting in the country.
Washington has been an open supporter of the insurgency in Syria and has been giving extensive political and military support to the armed group to topple the Syrian government.
Western intelligence services have been warning that European and American militants have been flocking to Syria to fight. But they’ve been reluctant to say how many Americans have joined the extremist forces there, until now.
First Briton convicted over Syria charges
Meanwhile, a Briton father who planned to join the war in Syria has been convicted of a terror offence, while hundreds of British militants have already joined the foreign-charged war on the Arab country.
Mashudur Choudhury, 31, is one of at least five men from Portsmouth who travelled out to the conflict last October with the alleged intention of joining al-Qaeda-inspired groups fighting in Syria, according to Al-Alam.
He is the first British man to be convicted of a Syria-related terror offence since the conflict began.
He was found guilty by a majority decision after a 12-day trial and will be sentenced on 13 June.
Police sources said they were tipped off from within the Muslim community in Portsmouth that Choudhury and four other men had left for Syria last October.
The men allegedly decided to go out to training camps after another associate, Iftekhar Jaman, 29, had travelled to fight along the so-called Islamic State of Iraq and Levant (ISIL) earlier last year.
Syria sank into war in March 2011 when pro-reform protests turned into a massive insurgency following the intervention of Western and regional states.
The unrest, which took in terrorist groups from across Europe, the Middle East and North Africa, has transpired as one of the bloodiest conflicts in recent history.
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