In an interview on Sunday night, FBI Director James Comey said his agency would closely monitor the militants, who could carry out attacks on US soil, if they return to the United States.
SHAFAQNA – The head of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) says at least a dozen Americans are fighting with terrorist groups, such as ISIL, in Syria against the government.
“Ultimately, an American citizen, unless their passport is revoked, is entitled to come back,” Comey told the CBS television network. “So someone who has fought with (ISIL) with an American passport and wants to come back, we will track them very carefully.”
He also said that he would call the terrorist organizations like the al-Nusra Front and ISIL in Syria as a “metastasis of Al-Qaeda”. “They are both vicious, sort of the inheritors of a lot of the mantle of Al-Qaeda and present different threats in a lot of ways.”
Last month US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel had offered a much higher estimate. He said there are about 100 Americans fighting with ISIL.
The ISIL terrorists, who were initially trained by the CIA in Jordan in 2012 to destabilize the Syrian government, control large parts of Syria’s northern territory. ISIL sent its fighters into Iraq in June, quickly seizing vast expanse of land straddling the border between the two countries.
Syria has been gripped by deadly violence since March 2011. The US and its regional allies — especially Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Turkey – have been supporting the militants operating inside Syria since the beginning of the crisis.
More than 191,000 people have been killed in over three years of fighting in the war-ravaged country, says the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), calling the figure a probable “underestimate of the real total number of people killed.
The US and several of its Arab allies — Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar, Jordan and the United Arab Emirates, — have been conducting airstrikes against ISIL militants inside Syria since last month without any authorization from Damascus or a UN mandate.
Source: Press TV