WASHINGTON/OSLO, July 8 U.S. Attorney General
Eric Holder urged countries in Europe and elsewhere on Tuesday
to do more to keep their own citizens from traveling to Syria
to fight, saying the world cannot allow Syria to become a
training ground for extremists to return and launch attacks.
In a speech in Norway, Holder said other countries could
learn from U.S. efforts to conduct undercover sting operations
and use laws against preparing to commit attacks, tactics he
said have helped confront the threat in the United States.
Speaking at the U.S. ambassador's residence in Oslo, Holder
also urged Europeans to share information about travelers to
Syria with the United States, which does not require visas for
travelers from European Union countries.
"We have a mutual and compelling interest in developing
shared strategies for confronting the influx of U.S.- and
European-born violent extremists into Syria," Holder said,
according to prepared remarks.
The suggestions come as Islamic State militants have taken
control of most of eastern Syria and built on the momentum of
their advance through Sunni Muslim provinces of neighbouring
U.S. intelligence agencies estimate around 7,000 of the
23,000 violent extremists operating in Syria are foreign
fighters, including dozens of Americans, Holder said.
Earlier on Tuesday, Holder told reporters that federal
prosecutors had opened fewer than 100 investigations into
American citizens who may have traveled to Syria or Iraq to
A Denver woman accused of trying to fly to Syria to support
insurgents there was arrested last week, and two men in central
Texas were arrested on similar charges last
One of the Texas men was charged with "attempting to provide
material support to terrorists," a law that Holder urged other
countries to copy as vital to counterterrorism efforts.
(Reporting by Aruna Viswanatha in Washington and Gwladys Fouche
in Oslo; Editing by Doina Chiacu)