The number of foreign fighters who have traveled to Iraq and Syria to join jihadist groups, such as the Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL) and the official al-Qaeda affiliate al-Nusra Front, has more than doubled in the last 18 months to between 27,000 and 31,000, revealed a new report.

That revelation comes as federal authorities in the United States announced that a Syrian-born naturalized U.S. citizen was charged with smuggling rifle scopes, night-vision goggles and other military-style gear from the United States to a Syrian rebel group linked to al-Nusra.

According to a recently released report from The Soufan Group, a New York-based international consultancy firm, “Between 27,000 and 31,000 people have traveled to Syria and Iraq to join the Islamic State and other violent extremist groups from at least 86 countries,” more than double the “12,000 foreign fighters from 81 countries” identified in June 2014.

“The increase is evidence that efforts to contain the flow of foreign recruits to extremist groups in Syria and Iraq have had limited impact,” notes the report.

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