Hundreds of Americans have been drawn to jihadist organizations fighting in Syria and Iraq. Many were arrested while attempting to make the journey. The 64 individuals identified in this study all reached their destinations. This study, released in February 2018, sheds light on the motivations, methods, and threats posed by these travelers.
«The Travelers: American Jihadists in Syria and Iraq» is the most comprehensive, publicly available assessment of this phenomenon that is currently available. It begins by identifying the trends and dynamics of jihadist travel from the United States to foreign conflicts during the past 30 years. It then provides a statistical breakdown of Americans who traveled to join jihadist groups in Syria and Iraq, categorizes them into three distinct types of travelers (pioneers, networked travelers, and loners), providing case studies for each category to highlight its relevance. Finally, it analyzes the threat from American travelers, including those who have returned to the United States, and provides recommendations for how to address the challenges they pose.
The full study, alongside one-page graphics showcasing its findings and the individual sections of the report, are available below.