A new United Nations report says the world faces a challenge of foreign fighters in terror groups on an "unprecedented scale," with about 15,000 in Syria and Iraq alone. The report by a panel of experts monitoring al-Qaida and the Taliban, obtained Friday by The Associated Press, has been submitted to the U.N. Security Council.
"Numbers since 2010 are now many times the size of the cumulative numbers of foreign terrorist fighters between 1990 and 2010 - and are growing," the report says. The panel was set up to support the council's al-Qaida sanctions committee. The panel says fighters from more than 80 countries working with al-Qaida associates in Syria and Iraq "form the core of a new diaspora that may seed the threat for years to come," and that domestic terrorism could rise as fighters return to their home countries.
The diversity of countries means wider sharing of skills and training on the ground in Syria and Iraq, the report warns. "There are instances of foreign terrorist fighters from France, the Russian Federation and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland operating together," it says.
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