(photo credit: REUTERS)
The terror group which has taken over large swathes of territory in Iraq and Syria and brought the US back into another military conflict in the Middle East is looking for new recruits.
According to a report in British daily The Telegraph, Islamic State has relaxed its "vetting" procedures for foreigners wishing to join the group as it looks to swell its numbers and expand its "Caliphate."
Quoting defectors and safe house operatives, The Telegraph
reported that the group was being less stringent with its measures to ensure that foreign jihadists were not undercover spies for the West.
The paper quoted Abu Ahmed, who runs a safehouse that funnels jihadists into Syria from Turkey, as saying that Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi "has called for all Muslims to come to their land, so the process is much less stringent...Almost any Muslim who wants to travel now can. They want everyone to come."
Abu Ahmed said in the past, he was only allowed to let someone pass into Islamic State-held territory in Syria after they had been thoroughly checked. The Telegraph
quoted another source as saying that aspiring IS jihadists were previously required to provide three references and undergo a full background check.
Abu Ahmed said despite US airstrikes against Islamic State targets, the numbers of new recruits had grown with the relaxing of admission requirements.
"Each day foreigners are joining more and more, from all over the world: Yemen, the Magreb and the West," The Telegraph
quoted a former IS member as saying.