Kosovar Centre for Security Studies (KCSS)
Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Kosovo
Between 2012 and 2017, around 315 Kosovo citizens are reported to have travelled to conflict zones in Syria and Iraq. Of these, more than a third have already returned to Kosovo. Another third is believed to still be in the conflict areas, including dozens of non-combatants, among which there are many women and children, while around 60 individuals are believed to have already lost their lives. The number of more than 110 returnees and a similar number of potential returnees raise concerns about the possible risks that they carry for individual and collective security and freedoms in Kosovo, and beyond. According to the 2016 Kosovo Security Barometer (KSB), 75 percent of Kosovo’s citizens perceive the foreign fighter returnees as a threat, while more than 50 percent would not receive a returnee back into their communities.