Increase in European youth joining terrorists in Syria & Iraq

The recent reports of participation of European youth in terrorist groups of Syria and Iraq has hit the western world in its face and is an extremely worrying fact for these nations. ‘The International Centre for Counter Terrorism, an independent Hague-based think tank has brought this news to limelight through its report. 

Federica Mogherini

According to the report, more than 2,838 youth from just four European nations viz., Belgium, UK, France and Germany have joined Syria and Iraq based terrorist groups. At the same time, policies of the European Union have been held widely responsible for the terrorist attacks across Europe. With these allegations there have been increasing demands for resignation of the High Representative for Foreign Affairs of the European Union, Federica Mogherini


The International Centre for Counter Terrorism has published this special report titled ‘The Foreign Fighters Phenomenon in the European Union’. The research has tried to provide information about the increasing impact of terrorism in the European nations. The report also points out to more than 4,000 youths from across Europe having joined terrorists in Syria and Iraq.  


The report also establishes that the major inflow of youth has come from countries like Belgium, UK, France and Germany. It is France alone that accounts for almost 900 youth joining radical forces in Iraq and Syria. From Belgium, the country which lately faced terrorist attacks, nearly 450 youngsters have travelled to Syria and other Middle East countries to join terrorist groups. The report also puts the involvement of youth from UK and Germany at over 1,500. 



The report further says that some 30% of European youth involved in terrorists organizations have returned to their homes in Europe while around 14% have been confirmed dead on the warfront. Surprisingly 17% of those involved in these terrorists groups are females. The report also confirms of 23% among the terrorist recruits having been converted their religion. The study expresses concern for having no concrete policy to stop the inflow of youngsters returning from the terrorist organizations back to Europe. 


Meanwhile, member states of European Union have criticized the increasing flow of immigrants, influence of extremist elements and Schengen agreement. After the Brussels terror attack, the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Federica Mogherini was critiqued for being unable to control her emotions during a press conference on her Brussels visit. Some of the UK representatives to EU have come down heavily on Mogherini saying that, 'Schengen agreement has allowed a free passage to the terrorists and weapons in EU and many EU officials including Mogherini have played a major role in Schengen agreement. Thus, the EU and its officials are responsible for the brutal attacks on Brussels. If they cannot take up their responsibilities then they should resign. But a mere display of sentiments will not stop the free movement of extremists and terrorists. For that, border checks are essential'.

Eurabia: The Euro-Arab Axis

This situation draws reference to a book titled 'Eurabia: The Euro-Arab Axis' by famous Egypt-born British writer Bat Ye’or. The book defines Eurabia as cultural and political appendage of the Arab / Muslim world. The book says “Eurabia is fundamentally anti-Western, anti-American, and anti-Semitic. The institution responsible for this transformation, and that continues to propagate its ideological message, is the Euro-Arab Dialogue, developed by European and Arab politicians and intellectuals over the past thirty years”. In addition to this many critics are also increasingly pointing out to Europe no longer being Europe but ‘Eurabia’. Experts like Prof. Richard Landes of Harvard University, Malaysian Defense and Security Analyst - Mathew Maavak, Canadian writer and journalist George Jonas and many more have referred to Europe being turned into ‘Eurabia’.

With the unhindered flow of refugees, rise in extremism, spread of radicalization and violence, change in demographics and unchanged and stubborn attitude of EU leadership the EU seems to be surely headed towards a brutal fall which will not only destroy its economy, industry and the region but will also badly affect the common masses which have been at the receiving end of the things due to policy adoptions of select few.