Russia took over Tunisia in the amount of citizens that went fighting for ISIS, according to the survey published by US-based Soufan group.
The report, titled Beyond the Caliphate: Foreign Fighters and the Threat of Returnees, states that there are 3,417 Russian citizens fighting for ISIS as of now, with Saudi Arabia taking second place with 3,244 citizens. Jordan and Tunisia take third and fourth place (3000 and 2926 people respectively), and France is fifth with its 1910 citizens joining ISIS ranks.
According to the report, despite the increasing number of foreign ISIS fighters, their flow has practically stopped due to ISIS losing control over territories in Syria and Iraq, and due to measures specifically intended to stop them from joining ISIS.
The amounts of returnees are as follows: 400 people returned back to Russia, 760 to Saudi Arabia, 250 to Jordan, 800 to Tunisia and 271 to France. The experts emphasize that the returnees do not generally contribute to increasing threat of terrorism around the world, while the number of attacks conducted by domestic terrorists either “inspired or directed by ISIS” continues to rise. “All returnees, whatever their reason for going home, will continue to pose some degree of risk,” the report states.
Russian President Vladimir Putin stated in February that about 9,000 people from former USSR were fighting for ISIS, having cited data from security and intelligence services. This corresponds with the US report saying that there are 8,717 people currently fighting for ISIS from former Soviet Republics.