You searched for: Content Type Working Paper Remove constraint Content Type: Working Paper Publishing Institution Center for American Progress - CAP Remove constraint Publishing Institution: Center for American Progress - CAP Political Geography Global Focus Remove constraint Political Geography: Global Focus Publication Year within 5 Years Remove constraint Publication Year: within 5 Years Topic Terrorism Remove constraint Topic: Terrorism
- Author: Hardin Lang, Muath Al Wari
- Publication Date: 03-2016
- Content Type: Working Paper
- Institution: Center for American Progress - CAP
- Abstract: Foreign fighters have long been a key element of transnational jihad. In the 1980s, foreigners flocked to South Asia to fight alongside the Afghan mujahedeen. The same thing occurred to a lesser extent in Bosnia and Chechnya in the 1990s and again following the 2003 invasion of Iraq. But the Syrian civil war and the subsequent rise of the Islamic State—also known as IS, ISIS, or ISIL—have broken new ground. Never before have jihadi foreign fighters rallied at the speed and scale as they have in the territory that IS now controls. Today, between 31,000 and 27,000 fighters from more than 86 countries are estimated to have made the journey to join the ranks of IS and other extremist groups, doubling the 2014 numbers. These foreign fighters fill leadership roles within the organization’s hierarchy and seem to be disproportionately responsible for the atrocities and brutality for which IS has become infamous. IS uses this extreme violence to create a climate of impunity and to intimidate both civilian populations and potential enemies. In addition, the recent attacks in Paris vividly demonstrated the international terrorist threat that foreign fighters pose. Finally, these fighters present a long-term challenge to their source countries if and when they return. In response, the U.S.-led Global Coalition to Counter ISIL has prioritized the flow of foreign fighters as one of its five major lines of effort. In 2015, United Nations Security Council Resolution 2178, or UNSCR 2178, was adopted with the specific aim of addressing the foreign fighter threat. Similarly, the coalition has established a working group to coordinate multilateral efforts to impede the flow of foreign fighters to Syria and Iraq and to implement the UNSCR. But much work remains to be done.
- Topic: Terrorism, Islamic State, Multilateralism, Foreign Fighters
- Political Geography: Global Focus