The number of foreign fighters in Syria has reached an “alarming level”, continues to grow and poses a real threat to Europe’s security, according to diplomats and officials in Brussels. Of most concern is the power of the militant jihadist group the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also known as Islamic State in Iraq and Syria: ISIS), which draws in the vast majority of foreign recruits and is expanding its operations dramatically within Iraq.

“We see that 85% of the foreign fighters [in Syria] end up with ISIL. Why? Because ISIL has the weapons and they control the areas near the borders [of Syria], so it’s easy for them to recruit the incoming fighters,” an EU source said on 12 June. […]