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Study Shows Islam Plays Key Role in Motivating Individuals to Become Foreign Fighters for Jihad


The media and those on the political left oftentimes reiterate inadequate and biased theories on why individuals likely leave their friends and families to join the cause of jihad – typicallyconcentrating “on social, economic, and psychological ‘push’ factors.” However, one recent study that’s part of The TSAS Working Paper Series called Talking to Foreign Fighters: Socio-Economic Push versus Existential Pull Factors by Lorne L. Dawson, Amarnath Amarasingam, and Alexandra Bain reveals how “religiosity (i.e., a sincere religious commitment, no matter how ill-informed or unorthodox) is a primary motivator” for individuals to become foreign fighters. Some of the specifics of the study include:

From mid-December 2015 to February 29 2016, interviews were conducted with 130 people: 40 foreign fighters, 60 family members, friends and associates, and 30 online fans, recruiters, and potential fighters. These interviews were largely face-to-face. But those with fighters in Syria and Iraq took the form of extended social media dialogues. – READ MORE

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