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EU exporter of terrorism to crisis-hit countries: Mogherini

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini

EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini says the European Union has turned into an exporter of terrorism to crisis-hit countries like Iraq and Syria. 

"The reality is that our continent exports more than imports terrorism," Mogherini told an annual conference of the European Union Institute for Security Studies on Friday.

She said European countries should adopt a unified strategy instead of "turning inwards" and building walls to deal with global crises in today’s world.

"Walls are of little use when there is no fine line separating the inside from the outside," the senior diplomat stressed.

A growing number of foreign terrorists in both Iraq and Syria have come from numerous European states, with Western authorities failing to stop the flow of the militants to the region – mostly through Turkey. Western governments fear that the battle-hardened militants may carry out terrorist attacks once they return home.

The file photo shows Chechen militants with the Takfiri Daesh terrorist group in an undisclosed location.

There may be some 5,000 Europeans fighting alongside extremist groups in Iraq and Syria, according to the New York-based Soufan Group and the London-based International Center for the Study of Radicalization and Political Violence.

Last month, The New York Times cited US intelligence officials as saying that some 30,000 militants from over 100 countries, including more than 250 Americans, have traveled to Syria and Iraq since 2011 to join the ranks of Takfiri terrorist groups. 

The northern and western parts of Iraq have been plagued by gruesome violence since Daesh terrorist group began its campaign of terror in the country in June 2014.

In Syria, the foreign-sponsored conflict, which flared in March 2011, has claimed more than 250,000 lives up until now, according to reports.

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