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UN Meeting in Madrid Addresses Westerners Drawn to ISIS

Security experts gathered in Madrid, Spain, for a United Nations panel to discuss measures to stop jihadists from joining radical Islamic groups like the Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL).

“We call upon states to propose creative ideas and new approaches for developing legal tools to further counter terrorism, including the phenomenon of Foreign Terrorist Fighters, in line with obligations under international law,” the panel wrote in a statement.

The United Nations Security Council requested this meeting due to the tens of thousands of Westerners who already joined ISIS.

The panel stated that foreign jihadists “increase the intensity, duration and intractability of conflicts.” They also acknowledged that returning jihadists “pose a serious threat” to their home countries. The experts pushed all countries to take preventative measures:

The meeting called upon UN member states to “develop legislative, judicial, law enforcement and other relevant measures to establish efficient and effective international cooperation efforts against the phenomenon of foreign terrorist fighters.”

The statement also called on the international community to “pay particular attention to the financing, facilitation, and travel tradecraft used by foreign terrorist fighters.”

They also urged all States to consider listing individuals, groups, undertakings, and entities associated with Al-Qaida that are financing, arming, planning, or recruiting for them. These include the Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL), Boko Haram, al-Nusrah Front, and Ansar al Sharia.

The committee believes 25,000 foreigners are within the ranks of ISIS and other groups. The group consisted of experts “from 70 countries and about 30 interior and foreign affairs ministers.”

In April, Turkey arrested ten Westerners and four Russians who attempted to sneak into Syria to join ISIS. Australia already banned all travel to Raqqa, Syria, which is the capital of the group’s Caliphate. Khalid Mahmood, Britain’s first Muslim member of Parliament, claimed that over 2,000 Britons fight with ISIS.

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