Sea Control 42 – Asian-Pacific Fighters in Iraq and Syria

It is well known that fighters, especially from US-America and Europe, are participating in the war in Syria and in the violence in Iraq and Yemen. Today, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder expressed is concern about fighters from Europe and the United States. U.S. intelligence agencies estimate around 7,000 of the 23,000 violent extremists operating in Syria are foreign fighters, mostly from Europe. (Timothy Gardner, “U.S. concerned foreign fighters in Syria are working with Yemenis“, Reuters, 13.07.2014). But the US and Europe are not alone with this problem: in Syria, there could be 60 to 200 fighters from Australia (“ICSR Insight: Up to 11,000 foreign fighters in Syria; steep rise among Western Europeans“, The International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation, 17.12.2013) and another 200 fighters from Indonesia (Phillip Coorey “Syria war graduates bigger threat than 2001 attacks, says Abbott“, The Australian Financial Review, 10.06.2014).

This episode of Sea Control turns its focus to foreign fighters returning from Iraq and Syria. Natalie Sambhi, of the Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI), interviews Andrew Zammit, a researcher at Monash University’s Global Terrorism Research Centre (GTReC), and Levi West, a lecturer in terrorism and National Security and course coordinator for Masters of Terrorism & Security Studies at Charles Sturt University. Both guests discuss the ways in which foreign fighters returning from the Middle East impact on Australian and regional security and on the global jihadist movement. Both Andrew and Levi also discuss the role of social media.

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CIMSECThe Center for International Maritime Security (CIMSEC) is a non-profit, non-partisan think tank. It was formed in 2012 to bring together forward-thinkers from a variety of fields to examine the capabilities, threats, hotspots, and opportunities for security in the maritime domain. Check out the NextWar blog to join the discussion. CIMSEC encourages a diversity of views and is currently accepting membership applications here.

This entry was posted in Australia, English, Sea Control, Security Policy, Terrorism.

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