Niu Song: “The General Situation and Trend of the Foreigners in IS under the Background of the Syria Crisis,” Yonsei Journal of International Studies
Publish time: 2018-08-31 Browsing times: 10

Source: Yonsei Journal of International Studies, Vol.10, Issue 1, Spring/Summer 2018;

Abstract: “Islamic State” (IS) is a major obstacle to the Syrian peace process and a major threat to both regional and world peace. With the growing global impact of IS terrorist activities, more and more foreigners have responded to IS propaganda by joining, working for, and engaging in terrorist activities in the service of IS abroad. Foreigners in IS are citizens of countries outside of Syria and Iraq who leave their home countries to work for IS. This paper argues that foreigners in IS have provided strong support for the consolidation and expansion of IS terrorist activities through human resource intensive contributions. Reasons for defection from a home country to participate actively in IS have been identified as: an “identity crisis” in the home countries of highly educated and unemployed males, loosening policies for international exit and entry, and the deceptive propaganda of IS. Through an analysis of the foreigners in IS, this paper finds that extremism and terrorism can be reduced by innovation within current international institutions, optimization of existing national social systems, and by strengthening the legitimacy of religious involvement in the international system.


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