The Lure of the Syrian War: The Foreign Fighters’ Bosnian Contingent is based on extensive research that examined the dynamics of the civil war in Syria and the role of  foreign fighters, especially those from Bosnia and Herzegovina. It provides the first comprehensive analysis of the foreign fighter phenomenon in BiH and points to key trends in radicalization, recruitment, facilitation, and financing of individuals poised to travel to and fight in the Syrian and Iraqi war theatres. This study also explored the economic, geographic, social, and educational background of these individuals, as well as their previous criminal records, age distribution, patterns and means of travel, and the duration and location of their activities in Syria and Iraq. Further, the research exposed links between foreign fighters from BiH and radical and militant groups and individuals, and assessed the level of threat that foreign fighters could pose upon their return to their respective communities. Finally, this study offers policy recommendations meant to contribute to more effective (security, political, social, and other) measures for understanding the phenomenon and better countering its impact.

AUTHORS: Dr. Vlado Azinović is an associate professor at the Faculty of Political Sciences, University of Sarajevo.

Muhamed Jusić is a theologian and columnist.

This project was supported by the Royal Norwegian Embassy in Bosna and Herzegovina. The opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed herein are those of the authors and the Atlantic Initiative and do not necessarily reflect those of the Norwegian Government.

Copyright © 2015 The Atlantic Initiative. All Rights Reserved.