ISIS foreign fighters from France were dispatched home to perform terrorist operations as it became increasingly clear that the group’s capital of Raqqa would fall, a fighter told BBC News.

“There are some French brothers from our group who left for France to carry out attacks in what would be called a ‘day of reckoning,’” the fighter described. Western officials fear a mass exodus of ISIS foreign fighters could trigger a renewed wave of terrorist attacks seeking to advance the group’s narrative as the physical territory that it controls dwindles.

The French terrorists join hundreds of other foreign fighters who have returned home from the battlefield in Iraq and Syria.

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