Individual Americans fighters entering the Syrian conflict on the side of Islamists pose a security risk for the United States.
According to the AP, federal officials worry that such fighters could return to America and bring their radicalized ideologies with them.
The number of Americans who have joined the fight against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is not that great–“British defense consultants…put the number of Americans at a couple of dozen.” But it will not take a great number to pose a security risk were they to return to the United States with bad intentions.
Three Americans have already been arrested for planning to fight beside the Islamists in Jabhat al-Nusra: the U.S. considers al-Nusra “a foreign terrorist group.” The most recent example of such an arrest “involves a Pakistan-born North Carolina man arrested on his way to Lebanon.”
During a Senate Homeland Security Committee meeting earlier this month, Senator Thomas Carper (D-Del.) said: “We know that American citizens as well as Canadian and European nationals have taken up arms in Syria, in Yemen and in Somalia. The threat that these individuals could return home to carry out attacks is real and troubling.”
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