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Finnish Kurds demonstrate against Isis in Helsinki, October 2014. Picture: Tony Öhberg for Finland Today

Finnish Kurds demonstrate against Isis in Helsinki, October 2014. Picture: Tony Öhberg for Finland Today

The number of foreigners that have joined Sunni militant organisations in the Syria, Iraq conflict continues to rise, according to an insight report published by the International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation and Political Violence ICSR.

About 50-70 fighters from Finland have left for Syria to join the militant organisations.

This is more than people from some other western European countries, such as Ireland (30), Switzerland (40) or Norway (60).

From the Nordic countries, Finland ranks in the third place, with Sweden surpassing all others on top of the list, not only as the Nordic country, but also as the most affected western European country relative to the size of population – with 150-180 fighters.

The second largest number of fighters arrive from Denmark with an amount of about 100-150.

Based on the 14 countries for which reliable data is available, ICSR estimates that the number of foreigners from western European countries has risen to almost 4,000.

This is nearly double the figure ICSR presented in December 2013, and exceeds the latest estimates by European Union officials.

 

Statistics: ICSR

Statistics: ICSR

The estimated worldwide total is 20,730. This makes the conflict in Syria and Iraq the largest mobilisation of foreigner fighters in Muslim majority countries since 1945.

It now surpasses the Afghanistan conflict in the 1980s, which is thought to have attracted up to 20,000 foreigners.

Staistics: ICSR

Staistics: ICSR

[divider] Background[/divider]

The International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation and Political Violence (ICSR) is a non-profit, non-governmental organisation based in London whose mission is to analyse and promote the understanding of political violence and radicalisation.

The figures for the insight were produced in collaboration with the Munich Security Conference and will be included in the Munich Security Report – a new, annual digest on key developments in security and foreign policy.

They include estimates for 50 countries for which sufficient data and/or reliable government estimates were available. Southeast Asia remains a blind spot. Countries with 5 or less confirmed cases were omitted. With the exception of some Middle Eastern countries, all figures are based on data from the second half of 2014 and refer to the total number of travellers over the course of the entire conflict.