Don't miss




More than 100 Nigerian schoolgirls still missing after Boko Haram attack

Read more


Italy helps integrate asylum seekers through training schemes

Read more


Film show: Berlinale, 'The Shape of Water' and 'I, Tonya'

Read more


Korea's divided families: Hopes for a reunion after decades apart

Read more


Iranian singer Sepideh Jandaghi: The trapped voice

Read more


Royal gatecrasher! Queen Elizabeth attends London Fashion Week

Read more


Venezuela launches its own cryptocurrency

Read more


The secrets of Jean-Marie Le Pen: Far-right party founder publishes tell-all

Read more


Tens of thousands bid farewell to Morgan Tsvangirai

Read more

Middle East

Over two-thirds of foreign IS group recruits are well educated, World Bank finds

© AFP | Undated propaganda image by the Islamic State (IS) group

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2016-10-06

More than two-thirds of the foreigners seeking to join the Islamic State (IS) group have attended high school or university, according to a new study by the World Bank.

Many of the young recruits who travel to Syria or Iraq to join the ranks of the Islamic State (IS) group – also known as ISIS, ISIL or Daesh – have received some education but are frustrated by the lack of opportunities in their home regions, a new World Bank study found.

The report, entitled “Economic and Social Inclusion to Prevent Violent Extremism”, found that 68 percent of those who joined the IS group between 2013 and 2014 claimed to have gone to the equivalent of a high school or university, with more than 25 percent having received at least some university-level schooling. Less than 15 percent of the foreign recruits had little or no education.

The study focused on the “basic socio-economic information” provided by 3,803 foreign recruits. The data was collected by the terrorist organisation itself and leaked to German intelligence services in March 2016. The World Bank then compared the leaked data to broader demographic, geographic and economic information to identify the factors associated with radicalisation.

While the study determined that poverty was not necessarily a risk factor, it found that educated men with few employment opportunities in their home countries were prime candidates for radicalisation.

"[W]e find that the factors most strongly associated with foreign individuals’ joining Daesh have to do with a lack of economic and social inclusion in their country of residence. Promoting greater inclusion, therefore, could not only bring down the level of violent extremism, but it could improve economic performance," the report said.

But the report also cautioned that it was possible recruits had “overestimated” their education levels.

From unemployed to suicide bomber

“Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, Morocco, Turkey and Egypt are the top five countries supplying recruits to Daesh,” the World Bank said, using an Arabic acronym for the group.

“Among the non-Muslim majority countries, Russia, France and Germany supply the largest number of Daesh’s foreign workforce.”

In addition to determining their education levels, IS group recruiters questioned jihadist candidates on their marital status, previous jihadist experience, knowledge of sharia law and the roles they were seeking to play within the IS organisation.

Foreign recruits with little or no education usually asked for combat roles, the study found. 

Educated IS group recruits were likely to request administrative roles but also to ask for suicide missions. In contrast, those with the highest levels of religious training were the least likely to seek suicide missions.

But it was recruits who reported being unemployed or who had served in the military that were "most prone to choosing 'suicide fighter' as their preferred option", the World Bank said.

Date created : 2016-10-06


    Names of 22,000 IS group jihadists 'leaked in secret documents'

    Read more


    IS group unit known as 'Emni' aims to export terror around the world

    Read more


    IS group’s voice of global jihad ‘killed’ in Syria

    Read more