As Islamic State’s Caliphate Withers, the Fate of its Foreign-Born Members Looms Over European Nations by Nabih Bulos – Los Angeles Times
Islamic State’s self-styled caliphate once spanned territory larger than South Carolina. The extremist group controlled the lives of more than 8 million Iraqi and Syrian residents and established its own currency, a taxation system and a sprawling bureaucracy that went so far as to dictate what its subjects were allowed to wear and to think. Its fighters vowed they would conquer Rome, Paris and Washington.
Four years and a bloody military campaign later, all that’s left of Islamic State’s real estate holdings is a fraction of a square mile in a remote Syrian hamlet near the border with Iraq.
There, hundreds of the remaining militants and more than 1,000 members of their families were holed up on Sunday in Baghouz al Fawqani, surrounded by Kurdish-led militiamen allied with the U.S.
In recent days, tens of thousands of people have streamed out of the group’s shrinking enclave, many of them die-hard followers of Islamic State who moved repeatedly as the militant group ceded territory across Syria and Iraq…