728x90 AdSpace

Latest News
June 13, 2015

The Origin of ISIS Recruits

A Map of ISIS Recruitment

Via @Amazing Maps on Twitter comes the following info-graphic that purports to show the origin of foreign ISIS recruits (i.e., recruits that are not from Syria and Iraq). There are obvious problems with such statistics, such as the one mentioned by one commenter on Twitter, namely “do they all have to register when they leave their respective countries?”.

Nevertheless, we thought the estimates interesting, if only on a relative basis. In several cases the estimates strike us as likely far too low, such as the numbers attributed to assorted Gulf sheikdoms. Qatar, Bahrain and the UAE are very small, but just 15 fighters from each? We recall that there even exists an ISIS propaganda video that shows recruits from precisely these places burning their passports.

The countries of origin of foreign ISIS recruits, with estimates of their numbers.

It may also have been sensible to split Russia into Chechnya and the rest of Russia, since Chechens reportedly represent the bulk of recruits originating from Russia (which is certainly credible). Even the chief military strategist of ISIS is from Chechnya.

Still, it is astonishing how many people have followed the siren call and have entered the conflict on the side of ISIS voluntarily. We were also briefly taken aback by the fact that there are apparently Chinese recruits as well, however, those likely come from China’s Muslim Uighur minority.


Iraq and Syria have become big cannon fodder attractors. The concern that ISIS recruits that survive the fighting and return to their countries of origin might make trouble is undoubtedly justified, but this is what one gets for intervening in the region for decades. As a reminder, here are videos of four US presidents announcing bombardments of Iraq over the past 25 years. Has Iraq gotten any better? There is of course an explanation for all these acts of futility. As we have discussed previously, quoting Randolph Bourne: “War is the Health of the State”.

Courtesy Pater Tenebrarum at Acting-Man.com (Article Archive Here)

The views and opinions expressed herein are the author's own, and do not necessarily reflect those of EconMatters. © EconMatters All Rights Reserved | Facebook | Twitter | Free Email | Kindle
  • Blogger Comments
  • Facebook Comments
Item Reviewed: The Origin of ISIS Recruits Rating: 5 Reviewed By: EconMatters