Foreign Fighters : The Islamic State Of Iraq

1551 WordsJan 11, 20167 Pages
Foreign fighters have been a staple of the modern wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. An interesting aspect of these foreign fighters in these conflicts is the amount of Westerners taking part in the insurgencies. The latest chapter in the war in Iraq is the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, which has become notorious in recent months for its brutality and its military successes. A recent Wall Street Journal article reports that over 28,000 individuals from eighty six countries have come to Iraq and Syria to fight for the Islamic State . Who are these Westerners who forsake a life of relative comfort and freedom for the rigors and danger of jihad? There are certain indicators in behavior of those who join the ranks of foreign fighters. While by no means a profile in any sense, the indicators observed by foreign fighters studied in this paper will provide policy makers and law enforcement with an idea of who could be likely to join foreign fighters abroad. Western foreign fighters are a major security concern for Western governments as they return home . The training and indoctrination they receive abroad makes reintegration into Western society difficult if not impossible. While every individual is different, all foreign fighters have observable behaviors prior to joining Islamic extremist movements. Learning how Westerners become radicalized is crucial to depriving groups like Al Qaeda and ISIS with valuable manpower. In order to understand the people who would join
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