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Abstract or Description

This thesis seeks to parse foreign fighters, individuals who travel abroad from their country of origin or residence to join armed non-state actors in conflict, 1 by demographics to analyze whether these characteristics play a role in why they join ISIS. Gender, geographical location, religious history, age, socioeconomic status, and education level are all examined to better understand how ISIS recruits from each group. It is found that individuals in each demographic group have diverse reasons for joining that ISIS exploits to be able to draw as many fighters as possible. Counter strategies should look at the underlying reasons that cause these individuals to join and minimize the distribution and interactions of recruiters and possible recruits.


Advisor: Colin Clarke

Institute for Politics and Strategy

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