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All Jihad is Local: Lessons from ISIS in North Africa and the Arabian Peninsula

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oday ISIS is in retreat, but from 2013 through 2014, the group recruited thousands of fighters from North Africa and the Arabian Peninsula. These fighters were the foundation upon which ISIS staffed its force and quasi-state. How did ISIS recruit so many fighters, and what factors drove the mobilization in these critical regions. 

In All Jihad is Local: Inside ISIS Recruitment in North Africa and the Arabian Peninsula, a new paper from New America, Nate Rosenblatt and David Sterman examine thousands of ISIS’ own entry records, finding that ISIS benefitted from different factors that enabled its mobilization of fighters in North Africa and the Arabian Peninsula. In addition to providing the first subnational examination of ISIS recruitment in these regions based on ISIS’ own records, the paper argues that addressing terrorist recruitment will require moving from asking “what theory explains why people become terrorists” to asking “where does a theory explain why people become terrorists.” 

To discuss these issues, New America welcomes the authors of the report: Nate Rosenblatt, a fellow with New America’s International Security program, Oxford doctoral student, and independent Middle East/North Africa consultant, who has lived, worked, and conducted field research in Turkey, Syria, Iraq, Lebanon, Morocco, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates and David Sterman, a policy analyst with New America’s International Security program. 

New America also welcomes Douglas Ollivant, ASU Future of War Senior Fellow at New America. He is a managing partner of the strategic consulting firm Mantid International, a retired Army officer, and was Director for Iraq at the National Security Council during both the George W. Bush and Obama administrations. 

Event Details

  • Date: October 2, 2017

  • When: 12:15 - 1:45 PM

  • Where: New America, Suite 900