Outside of Syria and Iraq, the majority of the Islamic State’s 20,000-plus fighter corps comes from fellow Muslim-majority countries like Egypt, Tunisia, Saudi Arabia, and Morocco. But many ISIS fighters also hail from European countries like Britain, Germany, and France–places with large, disenfranchised Muslim populations.
That’s just one of many fascinating details in an article over at the New York Times. Called “How Isis Works,” it explores through a series of maps, charts, and infographics how the Islamic State manages to control such vast stretches of Syria and Iraq: ISIS has plenty of money, fighters, and weaponry to go around.
Muslim unrest due to prejudice and unemployment is a problem in Europe, one that the E.U. seems largely happy to ignore. ISIS takes advantage of that disenfranchisement, recruiting young second-generation Muslims who feel frustrated and rejected by their home countries. Nor is ISIS focused solely on Europe. The terrorist group draws a sizable number of fighters from countries as far away as the U.S., Canada, Australia, China, and Russia. ISIS is fighting the West with our own people.
Check out the New York Times’ full article here.