05/12/13 20:18 CET
| updated xx mn ago
| updated at xx
Up to 2000 European jihadists are fighting against the Assad regime in Syria, according to Belgium’s interior minister. That number was said to be just 600 in June.
Joëlle Milquet, Belgian Interior Minister made the comments in a joint press conference with her French counterpart, Manuel Valls.
“With regards to the European figures, we estimate it’s between 1500 and 2000, given what we have heard from our counterparts. The numbers by country are very standard. It’s a phenomenon which is very generalised, that exists in identical proportions with people who have identical profiles” – said Milquet.
French Interior Minister Valls said he didn’t see any imminent terror threat from those EU citizens returning from fighting jihad in Syria.
“Today we do not see a direct or indirect on our respective countries, our interests, our fellow citizens, nor against those people or interests of our allies.”
Belgium and France are two of nine EU member states sharing information with Australia, Canada and the US on foreign jihadists.
The EU’s top anti-terror offical wants airline passenger information made available to keep track of would-be fighters.