Why Do Foreign Fighters Join ISIS?

(Photo: ISIS Propaganda)
(Photo: ISIS Propaganda)

A new report is out from the U.N. Office of Counter Terrorism investigating what drives people to join ISIS. The report notes that we simply do not have enough information to form an accurate picture of the motivations of foreign fighters. However, it assesses that there are a range of push and pull factors which intersect in various ways. These include economic and social marginalization, a desire to protect Sunni Muslims in Syria from the Shiite regime of Assad, feelings of alienation and being under threat as a Muslim and an ideological commitment to creating an Islamic State.

The full report has been published by the UN. Clarion’s Elliot Friedland assesses the report.


Elliot Friedland
Elliot Friedland is a research fellow at Clarion Project.

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