The Travelers: American Jihadists in Syria and Iraq

(George Washington University Program on Extremism) Hundreds of Americans have been drawn to jihadist organizations fighting in Syria and Iraq. Of the 64 individuals in this study who reached their destinations, 12 returned to the U.S., 9 of whom were arrested and charged with terrorism-related offenses. No returned travelers have successfully committed a terrorist attack in the U.S. following their re-entry, while only one returned with the intent to carry out an attack. At the same time, there have been 22 jihadist attacks from 2011 to 2017 committed by "homegrown" extremists. Yet returnees do pose a threat. They can augment jihadist networks in the U.S., provide others with knowledge about how to travel and conduct attacks, and serve as nodes in future jihadist recruitment.

2018-02-06 00:00:00

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