The number of Islamic State recruits is much higher than that estimated by foreign observers – around 100,000, says one of Iraq’s foremost security experts with unique access to intelligence. The terrorists are swallowing up other insurgent groups.
Foreign estimates put the figure between 20,000 and 50,000.
“[The] Islamic State didn’t come from nowhere,” according to Hisham al-Hashimi, who advises Iraq’s intelligence services and analyzes raw information gathered on the ground. He has studied the group’s progression for years.
The organization “is an extension of groups that existed before – historically and ideologically,” al-Hashimi told Mashable.