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Thread: Today's Wild Geese: Foreign Fighters in the GWOT

  1. #121
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    A Dutch riposte:
    The arguments made in favour of such a strategy – such as getting formers to denounce IS – are not strong enough to offset the need to punish those who joined a barbaric terrorist group and supported a campaign of death and destruction not just in the Levant but across the West. Countries where amnesties have worked took place in divided nations: this is not the case for foreign fighters. There are no “populations” where significant support for IS and IS fighters existed: hence no need for an amnesty to “clear the air” and help societies move on. Amnesty for IS fighters is thus probably a non-starter in the West.
    Link:https://icct.nl/publication/should-g...eign-fighters/
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  2. #122
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    Default Then and Now: Comparing the Flow of Foreign Fighters to AQI and the Islamic State

    Then and Now: Comparing the Flow of Foreign Fighters to AQI and the Islamic State

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  3. #123
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    Default Returning Foreign Fighters in the Caribbean: Issues and Approaches

    Returning Foreign Fighters in the Caribbean: Issues and Approaches

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  4. #124
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    Default Philippines Says Foreign Fighters Have Joined IS-Linked Militant Group

    Philippines Says Foreign Fighters Have Joined IS-Linked Militant Group

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  5. #125
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default Moderator at work

    Three, if not four SWJ Blog links merged just.
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  6. #126
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    Default Balkan foreign fighters: from Syria to Ukraine

    Thanks to a "lurker" for the pointer to this four pg report:https://www.iss.europa.eu/content/balkan-foreign-fighters-syria-ukraine

    A few passages:
    Only with the emergence of Balkan jihadists fighting for Daesh did the question of foreign fighters come under the spotlight in the region.
    None of the countries has been efficient at producing counter-narratives whether through main-stream media or via Internet and social media channels.
    Ukrainian fighters remain just ‘ordinary extremists’. The lack of political will to tackle and condemn right-wing extremism is more than evident.
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 12-22-2017 at 01:24 PM. Reason: 101,661v Replace link
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  7. #127
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    Default Foreign Fighters: a resource to plunder

    A UN report (60 pgs) co-authored by Richard Barrett (ex-SIS) and Professor Hamed el-Said (Jordanian academic & UK citizen). Unusual as they interviewed forty-three fighters, most of them in jail in seven nations. A good literature review (ICSR, Soufan Group and others) and more within.

    The 43 FTFs interviewed for the project represent 12 different nationalities. Of these, 33 (77 per cent) reached Syria, while ten (23 per cent) were either intercepted by their own authorities before departing their country of residence, or stopped by the authorities of a transit country while en route to Syria.
    Later:
    FTFs have many different motives for joining armed groups, but the idea of establishing a Caliphate does not appear to be prominent among them.
    Link:http://www.un.org/en/counterterroris...l_20170727.pdf

    The main thread is:Today's Wild Geese: Foreign Fighters in the GWOT
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 08-01-2017 at 05:43 PM. Reason: 582v
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  8. #128
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    Default Another resource to plunder

    Id'd via Twitter a Manual 'Responses to Returnees: Foreign Terrorist Fighters and their families' by the Radicalisation Awareness Network, an EU-funded project, 102 pgs.

    Short of time just check pgs. 6 & 7, for graphics.

    Link:https://ec.europa.eu/home-affairs/si..._a4_m10_en.pdf
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 08-05-2017 at 08:08 PM. Reason: 134,990v
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  9. #129
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    Default How real is the threat of returning IS fighters?

    A lengthy BBC article by a SME, Lorenzo Vidino, which tries to describe and assess the problem many countries face.

    For the UK he writes:
    The head of the UK security service MI5 said this week that fewer than expected of the 800 Britons who joined IS had returned recently and that at least 130 had been killed....The UK Home Office, for example, disclosed last year that of the 400 British foreign fighters who had returned from Syria and Iraq, only 54 were convicted.
    Link:http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-41679377
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  10. #130
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    Default British IS fighters 'must be killed', Rory Stewart says

    Rory Stewart is a junior UK minister, for international development, but is very media savvy and has experience in Afghanistan & Iraq (he even has his own thread at:http://council.smallwarsjournal.com/...ad.php?t=10832 ).

    From his radio interview yesterday, which officials said was in line with government policy:
    They are absolutely dedicated, as members of the Islamic State, towards the creation of a caliphate. They believe in an extremely hateful doctrine which involves killing themselves, killing others and trying to use violence and brutality to create an 8th Century, or 7th Century, state. So I'm afraid we have to be serious about the fact these people are a serious danger to us, and unfortunately, the only way of dealing with them will be, in almost every case, to kill them.
    Link:http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-41717394
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 10-23-2017 at 07:52 AM. Reason: 144,579v 10k up since August '17
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  11. #131
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    Default Beyond the Caliphate: Foreign Fighters and the Threat of Returnees

    The Soufan Group and another group led by Richard Barrett (ex-SIS & UN CT) have published an updated report (41 pgs) 'Beyond the Caliphate: Foreign Fighters and the Threat of Returnees'. There is a five point summary on pg.5.

    Link:http://thesoufancenter.org/wp-conten...tober-2017.pdf

    Short of time? Try this:https://www.newyorker.com/news/news-...-the-thousands

    Or this podcast interview (3 mns) of Richard Barrett:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1R-c...ature=youtu.be

    A graphic via Twitter below:

    Last edited by davidbfpo; 10-26-2017 at 05:37 PM. Reason: Updated with last two items
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  12. #132
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    Default one Actor Terrorist Attack Planning and Preparation: A Data-Driven Analysis

    A free article from the Journal of Forensic Sciences, part of the EU-funded PRIME project on Lone Actors by some academic experts. Which I have not read.

    The Abstract:
    This article provides an in-depth assessment of lone actor terrorists’ attack planning and preparation. A codebook of 198 variables related to different aspects of pre-attack behavior is applied to a sample of 55 lone actor terrorists. Data were drawn from open-source materials and complemented where possible with primary sources. Most lone actors are not highly lethal or surreptitious attackers. They are generally poor at maintaining operational security, leak their motivations and capabilities in numerous ways, and generally do so months and even years before an attack. Moreover, the “loneness” thought to define this type of terrorism is generally absent; most lone actors uphold social ties that are crucial to their adoption and maintenance of the motivation and capability to commit terrorist violence. The results offer concrete input for those working to detect and prevent this form of terrorism and argue for a re-evaluation of the “lone actor” concept.
    Link:http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/1...029.13676/full
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 10-28-2017 at 09:14 PM. Reason: 145,831v
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  13. #133
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    Default Foreign Fighters and the Threat of Returnees

    Richard Barrett of The Soufan Group, had another article three weeks and the focus is on the UK.
    Link:https://www.theguardian.com/commenti...gislamic-state

    Recently Max Hill, the UK's Independent Reviewer of CT Law, became controversial to some over his reported remarks on how to deal with returnees, in essence not all of them can be prosecuted so we must have other options. He was recently at a conference and the next article summarises his contribution.
    Link:https://www.connectfutures.org/kill-...r-lynn-davies/
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  14. #134
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    Default Bruce Hoffman recommends you read these

    Recommended by Professor Bruce Hoffman via Twitter. First a long Buzzfeed report on the smuggling along the Turkish border:
    US officials say most of ISIS fighters have died on the battlefield. Smugglers along the Syria-Turkey border say many have escaped.
    Link:https://www.buzzfeed.com/mikegiglio/...haps-to-fight?

    Secondly, a wider international viewpoint on the "hot potato" by a NDU staffer; which opens with an editorial passage:
    As the Caliphate collapses, many of its foreign volunteers are fleeing Iraq and Syria. A lot of ink has been spilled (some by me, in fact) on the problem of foreign fighters returning home. However, some of these fighters end up in a third country—not in the Caliphate, but not home either—that is not prepared for the problem.
    Link:https://lawfareblog.com/foreign-fighter-hot-potato
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 12-23-2017 at 03:24 PM. Reason: 152,406v
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  15. #135
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    Default Returned Foreign Fighter Justice: Preventing Propaganda

    I rarely spot anything from Stratfor these days, but this one landed today. It is a point of view and ends with:
    Without combatting their narrative assertions about the legitimacy of western legal systems and processes, much of our military success could be nullified.
    Link:https://marcom.stratfor.com/horizons...ing-propaganda
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 01-16-2018 at 10:06 AM. Reason: 162,672v up 10k in 3 weeks
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  16. #136
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    Default Returning fighters to Eirope and USA

    Two reports on returning foreign fighters, the first from a Belgian think tank, published as an Egrmont Paper covers Belgium, Netherlands and Germany (79 pgs.).

    Summary:
    Some 5000 men, women and children have travelled from Europe to Syria and Iraq since 2012. An estimated 1500 of these foreign terrorist fighters (FTF) have returned so far. Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands represent a third of European FTF and returnees. This report looks into the evolution of policies on returning foreign fighters in these three countries, comparing responses with regard to fighters that are still in the conflict zone, policies to deal with returnees in prison and attitudes towards the children of foreign fighters. It is the very first systematic and in-depth study into national approaches and policies vis--vis returnees. Its added value lies in the wealth of data, including data that has not been published before, and in the comparative angle.
    Link:http://www.egmontinstitute.be/return...e-netherlands/

    The second report (116 pgs.) is from the GW Program on Extremism 'The Traveler: American Jihadists in Syria and Iraq' and the summary refers to:
    Hundreds of Americans have been drawn to jihadist organizations fighting in Syria and Iraq. Many were arrested while attempting to make the journey. The 64 individuals identified in this study all reached their destinations. This study, released in February 2018, sheds light on the motivations, methods, and threats posed by these travelers.
    Link:https://extremism.gwu.edu/travelers
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  17. #137
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    Many of the Americans who traveled to Syria and Iraq to join the group wound up coming back because “life in jihadist-held territory did not live up to their expectations,” according to a new study from George Washington University’s Program on Extremism that provides a sweeping look at their experiences.
    These Americans had seen “an idealized version of reality” in online propaganda they consumed, but that contrasted unfavorably with the harsh living conditions, infighting and menial assignments that greeted them, the report found. For Americans like Khweis — who later insisted he was not part of the group and only wanted to see the situation in Syria for himself — household chores could lead to their decisions to abandon the fight.
    *
    (Far more people left Europe to join the Islamic State — estimates range from 5,000 to 6,000, the report says — though that flow of volunteers also plummeted as the group lost territory.)
    https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/world...cid=spartandhp


    From link above (in bold)


    But Neumann and others said the decline in Islamic State recruiting figures — which has come almost as quickly as the rise following leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi’s declaration of a caliphate in June 2014 — is hardly an unmitigated success for the United States and its allies.
    Instead, it may be the beginning of a new stage, one in which would-be fighters choose to carry out attacks at home rather than travel abroad, and battle#hardened veterans seek out new lands for conflict.
    “It’s like after the Afghanistan war in the 1980s,” said Neumann, citing the period after Soviet troops withdrew in 1989 and legions of foreign fighters formed a diaspora of radicalized veterans that subsequently fueled the rise of al-Qaeda. “They’ll be asking themselves, ‘What’s next?’ ”
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/world...=.d1f210b32af1
    A scrimmage in a Border Station
    A canter down some dark defile
    Two thousand pounds of education
    Drops to a ten-rupee jezail


    http://i.imgur.com/IPT1uLH.jpg

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