Impeding the flow of foreign fighters

The Global Coalition is committed to tackling the threat posed by foreign terrorist fighters travelling to the region to join Daesh or travelling from Daesh-held territories to other countries. The Counter-Daesh Coalition Working Group on Foreign Terrorist Fighters, co-led by the Netherlands, Turkey and the United States, is working with Coalition partners to implement the obligations and recommendations set forth in UN Security Council Resolution, passed in September 2014. This resolution requires countries to take steps to counter foreign terrorist fighters, expanding current obligations under international law and strengthening international measures that prevent suspected foreign terrorist fighters from travelling, that disrupt financial support to foreign terrorist fighters, and that further strengthen international and regional co-operation mechanisms.

In support of UNSCR 2178, 45 countries have enacted laws or amendments to create greater obstacles for travelling into Iraq and Syria, at least 35 countries have arrested foreign terrorist fighters or aspirants, and 12 have successfully prosecuted foreign terrorist fighters.

The Coalition has put in place a broad array of mechanisms to disrupt or stop the flow of foreign terrorist fighters. Its members are committed to continuously enhancing security measures to stop and intercept foreign terrorist fighters at airports and other border crossing points and to sharing information on individuals to disrupt the travel of foreign terrorist fighters or arrest them for terrorist activities. Over 50 countries, plus the United Nations, now contribute foreign terrorist fighter profiles to INTERPOL through its Counter-Terrorism Fusion Center, a 400% increase over a two year period.

The Counter Daesh Coalition Working Group on Foreign Terrorist Fighters (WGFTF) Action Plan tackling the flow of foreign terrorist fighters focuses on nine lines of effort: identifying potential foreign terrorist fighters; uncovering and mitigating the recruitment process; detecting facilitation networks and routes; improving border security; increasing the exchange of information sharing; supporting measures to encourage foreign terrorist fighters to break with Daesh; developing legal frameworks in support of arresting and prosecuting foreign terrorist fighters; mapping patterns of their flows; and developing a counter narrative. The WGFTF also collaborates with the Coalition’s Counter-Finance and Communications Working Groups, sharing information and developing mutually supporting actions.

Strengthening Critical Borders

Over the past year, the Coalition has taken important steps on the Turkish-Syrian border. On the Syrian side of the border, Coalition supported forces have taken back two thirds of the territory Daesh once controlled, including the principle transit point of Tal Abyad – over 530 miles of the 600 mile border is free of Daesh. Turkey has increased detentions, arrests and prosecution of suspected foreign terrorist fighters, increased its information sharing with international partners, and is taking steps to improve the security of its border.

Further information on the Coalition’s efforts to tackle the flow of Foreign Terrorist Fighters is available at the links below:

US Department of State, Designations of Foreign Terrorist Fighters
US Government Factsheet: Comprehensive U.S. Government Approach to Foreign Terrorist Fighters in Syria and the Broader Region