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The distinct English accent of the militant seen beheading U.S. journalist James Foley in a grisly online video has forced Britain once again to confront the question of how it became an exporter of jihadist fighters. The video, published Tuesday, has also left Britain nervously wondering how many potential jihadists are walking its streets and whether the return of fighters from Iraq and Syria will bring the violence home. Richard Barrett, ex-head of counterterrorism at the MI6 overseas security agency, told the BBC in June that the number who had gone to fight in Syria and Iraq "could be as high as 500 by now".His comments came after several young British men featured in a YouTube recruitment video for ISIS.In total, 69 people suspected of Syria-related jihadist activities have now been arrested in Britain.Ashraf disagreed, saying that the group's appeal would be fleeting.
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