Tue, 01 Dec | Webinar

A Theory of Terrorist Group Recruitment 'Hubs' - Case Study of the ISIS Foreign Fighter Mobilisation

Nathaniel Rosenblatt, University of Oxford
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Date & Location

01 Dec 2020, 16:00 – 17:00 GMT
Webinar

Description

A Theory of Terrorist Group Recruitment 'Hubs' - Case Study of the ISIS Foreign Fighter Mobilisation

The ISIS foreign fighter mobilisation was one of the largest in recorded history (Malet, 2015). The United Nations found that over 40,000 foreign fighters joined ISIS from approximately 110 countries. In previous research, I found that these fighters were not recruited evenly across the regions of their home countries (Rosenblatt, 2016). Rather, large numbers of fighters came from a small number of neighbourhoods, towns or regions. In the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), I estimate that 75% of ISIS foreign fighters came from areas that comprised less than 15% of the MENA population. That so many fighters came from specific "hubs" forms the paradox of my research: why do hubs form? What distinguishes hubs from other places from which there were far fewer foreign fighters? This presentation will rely on statistical analysis and fieldwork to describe 1) What characteristics make hubs distinct from other regions in majority Arabic-speaking countries, 2) How hubs form, and 3) How their residents were recruited to join ISIS. The presentation will offer policy implications terrorism research that does not distinguish the contexts in which fighters are recruited.

Nathaniel Rosenblatt, University of Oxford 

Nate Rosenblatt is a 4th year DPhil student in the Sociology Department at the University of Oxford and an International Security Program Fellow at New America. His research focuses on how hubs of foreign fighter recruitment form and operate, and how people are recruited in these hubs to fight in foreign wars. He speaks Arabic and has 12 years of professional experience working on political economy, civil conflict, and social movements in the MENA region, with fieldwork in Morocco, Tunis, Kuwait, UAE, Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, and Turkey. He has an MSc in Sociology from Oxford, and an MA in International Economics and Middle East Studies from Johns Hopkins University.

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