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Fickle Foreign Fighters? A Cross-Case Analysis of Seven Muslim Foreign Fighter Mobilisations (1980-2015)

In the past 35 years, several conflicts have triggered Muslims worldwide to leave their home country and become a so-called foreign fighter. Yet not all conflicts seem to have the same ‘pull factors’. While conflicts like those in Afghanistan (1980-1992), Bosnia (1992-1995), Iraq (since 2003) and Syria (since 2011) each attracted several thousands of foreign fighters, other conflicts like Chechnya (1994-2009), Somalia (1993-2014) and Afghanistan after 2001 could not count on more than a few hundred foreign combatants. Duyvesteyn and Peeters gauge the validity of the explanations accounting for the differing ‘pull factors’.

Isabelle Duyvesteyn & Bram Peeters
21 March 2016
The International Centre for Counter-Terrorism
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