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Foreign Fighters and Transnational Jihad in Syria


Studies in Conflict and TerrorismJournal abstract

Foreign fighters arrive in Syria from across the Muslim world, yet the configuration of their countries of origin remains a puzzle. Examining alternative explanations for joining transnational jihad, the article draws insights from the cases of Tunisia and Saudi Arabia, two major countries of foreign fighters' origin, compared with Egypt, from where limited figures of volunteers have joined the Syrian war. The article shows that the sources of volunteering fighters may be well understood in combined terms of religious sentiments and national politics. Foreign fighters come largely from Muslim countries where restrained state–Islamists relations channel Islamic grievances to transnational arenas.

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