Following the collapse of the so-called Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), Europe saw the return of Foreign Terrorist Fighters (FTFs), and their families, who had left EU Member States to fight in Iraq and Syria. This posed a significant security challenge to Member States, which sparked a policy debate about the best way to handle their return.
Although the conflict in Syria still rages, the security situation in Iraq continues to steadily improve, enabling those FTFs and their families that still remain in the country or camps outside of it easier passage to return to Europe. While they might not return in such large numbers as before, Europe will continue to see a trickle of returnees over the coming years.
- Publication date
- 1 October 2021