The Return of the Terrorist Foreign Fighters: New Challenges

In cooperation with the Counter-Terrorism Executive Directorate (CTED) of the United Nations

The Return of the Terrorist Foreign Fighters:

New Challenges

Following the dramatic reduction in Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL)-controlled territory in Syria and Iraq, many of the thousands of foreign terrorist fighters (FTFs) it attracted have chosen to return to their home countries around the world, or relocate to a third country. Many of these individuals will have battlefield experience and have received operational training, including in perpetrating acts of terrorism. Yet research suggests that historically, few FTFs conducted terrorist attacks on their return home.


This workshop, held in cooperation with CTED, will outline the phenomenon of returning FTFs, and discuss the wide range of challenges emerging as a result of their return. These include border security issues, the need for improved international cooperation, developing prosecution, rehabilitation and reintegration strategies, and approaches to the accompanying family members of FTFs, including children.  



Dr. Eitan Azani- Deputy Executive Director, ICT and Head of BA & MA Specializations in Counter-Terrorism, Lauder School of Government, Diplomacy & Strategy, IDC Herzliya, Israel

Dr. Magnus Ranstorp- Research Director, Center for Asymmetric Threat Studies (CATS), National Defence College, Sweden

Ms. Meredith Stricker, Executive Director, The Soufan Center, United States

Dr. Aaron Zelin- Richard Borow Fellow, Washington Institute for Near East Policy, United States 

Moderator: Mr. David Wells- Political Affairs Officer, United Nations Security Council Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate (CTED), United Nations, New York, US

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