The Syrian conflict has been the most socially mediated war in history. In response, ICSR has developed some of the most sophisticated open-source methods used by academics today to better understand the origins, role and involvement of the foreign fighters participating in it.
This culminated in the creation of an internal database containing information on more than 700 Western volunteers, providing an empirical basis for quantifying the experiences of these fighters. This research was augmented by on-the-ground fieldwork and interviews with more than 100 foreign fighters, which were conducted during their time in theatre.
In addition to this, ICSR curates a number of subsidiary databases based on data collection from both open and closed sources. One of these comprises a codified archive of more than 4,000 entry records of Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL/Daesh) volunteers, consisting of an itemised breakdown of the paperwork they completed when first joining the movement. We also maintain open source databases relating to Islamic State attacks in the West, and returnee accounts.
These rich empirical sources provide the basis of our ongoing work to quantify, contextualise, and explain the role of foreign fighters in the Syrian conflict, their potential menace to the West, and the likelihood of a so-called ‘returnee threat.’
- Advising governments, law enforcement, intelligence on how to curb the flow of foreign terrorist fighters;
- Understanding the motivations and drivers of radicalisation for those becoming foreign terrorist fighters;
- Contextualising and assessing the in- theatre threat profile of those who become foreign terrorist fighters;
- Assessing the returnee threat;
- Exploring opportunities for deradicalisation;
- Providing insights on counter-messaging and campaigns.
Recent Policy Reports
- ICSR Team
ICSR Event – How Should We Assess The War On Terror 20 Years After 9/11?, September 22ndRead more
Where: Online When: Wednesday September 22nd, 6.30pm BST / 1.30pm EST The events of September 11th 2001…
- ICSR Team
Counterterrorism in North Africa: From Police State to Militia Rule and the Quagmire of “CVE”Read more
The full report can be accessed here. An overview of its findings can be found…
- ICSR Team
GNET Event – First Annual GNET Conference, May 26thRead more
We are delighted to announce that ICSR will be hosting the First Annual GNET Conference,…