(Iraqinews.com) On Thursday, Admiral Samuel Locklear, who heads the American military command in the Pacific Ocean, revealed that about 1,000 recruits from a vast region stretching from India to the Pacific Ocean may have joined the organization ISIS to fight in Syria or Iraq and that most of them were recruited through Social Media.
The military commander told the reporters that “this number may increase with the passage of time,” adding that the current estimates indicate that the number of potential aspirants fighters who have moved from the area covered by the Pacific Command, amounts to about a thousand.
However, he did not specify any of the thirty-six States in the Pacific Command in which they are recruiting fighters for the militant group.
These comments came at a time when the Filipino militants threaten to kill a German hostage in solidarity with the organization ISIS, which raised new concerns that the hardline approach of ISIS which attracts recruits in Asia and constitutes a growing security threat in the region.
Locklear said PACOM was having a “robust dialogue” with countries in the region “about this particularly difficult problem.”
“I can tell you that I believe most of them have been recruited via social media,” he said. “Social media appears to be the place where ISIL has been – that type organization and al-Qaeda have been – particularly effective at reaching out and finding these people who would have a tendency to want to go toward a terrorist organization.”
Many terrorist foreign fighters heading to Syria or Iraq from countries beyond the Middle East are believed to have traveled to the conflict zone from Europe via Turkey.
Locklear disagreed with a reporter who suggested that it was more difficult for would-be ISIS fighters to travel from the Asia-Pacific, although he said he would be speculating on exactly how they got there.
“I think that true globalization and the interdependencies we have through business and commerce and everything else, that it’s relatively easy for someone who wants to to be able to move to a region such as Syria or Iraq, to get involved – if they think about it and they are enabled and they have the ability for someone to provide them the resources to get there.”