Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies Stanford University

Supporters of Indonesian militant cleric Abu Bakar Bashir attend a rally outside a court at South Jakarta on June 16, 2011. Bashir was jailed for 15 years for his involvement with a group that aimed to kill the country's president.
Photo credit: Reuters

January 29, 2013 - CISAC In the News

Hegghammer: Western jihadists prefer foreign fighting

CISAC Zuckerman Fellow Thomas Hegghammer used open-source data for this article in American Political Science Review in which he asks: Why do some Western jihadists attack at home while others join insurgencies in places such as Afghanistan and Somalia? Many assume that jihadists all want to attack the West, and that those who leave home do so for training. Hegghammer argues the opposite: Most Western jihadists prefer foreign fighting and those who attack at home typically do so after being radicalized through contact with a veteran or other foreign fighter. Hegghammer's findings have implications for our understanding of the motivations of jihadists, for assessments of the terrorist threat posed by foreign fighters and for counterterrorim policy.

Topics: Terrorism and counterterrorism | Afghanistan