One of the oft-heard tropes about ISIS recruits is that they’re poor, uneducated, and desperate. But like so many other liberal pieties about radical Islamic terrorism, it turns out this just isn’t true.
Last week, the World Bank released a study on the country of origin, marriage status, skills, and education level of foreign ISIS recruits who joined the jihadist group between early 2013 and late 2014. It found no correlation between education level or poverty and joining ISIS. While this may not come as a surprise to those who have been following the development of the Islamic State, it delivers a crushing blow to the left’s assertion that the root cause of “violent extremism” is economic.
ISIS Recruits Aren’t Who You Think They Are
The documents, which were smuggled out by a disaffected ISIS member, come from the vetting and interviewing process of 331 foreign recruits during the time period in question. The study not only didn’t find poverty to be a motivating factor in becoming an Islamist fighter, it showed that wealthier countries were more often a source for recruitment than poorer ones.
The documents also disprove the theory that Islamist fighters are largely uneducated. According to the study, 69 percent of recruits had received at least a high school education and many of those from the Middle East and North Africa went on to study at a university. The World Bank study also compared the education levels of the recruits to the average education levels of citizens in their country of origin, and found that the recruits were significantly more educated.
Read more at TheFederalist.com…