NOTE: An archive of the Musings of an Iraqi Brasenostril on Jihad column can now be found here.
By Aymenn Jawad Al-Tamimi
Since Sheikh Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi announced the Islamic State of Iraq and ash-Sham (ISIS) in April as a merger between Jabhat al-Nusra (JAN) and Islamic State of Iraq, one question that has arisen is the composition of fighters under the banner of ISIS. Some media reports- most notably the Reuters analyses by Mariam Karouny– have drawn a dichotomy of foreign mujahideen behind ISIS and native Syrians in JAN.
It is of course true that JAN is largely composed of native Syrian fighters (a point often missed in commentary, as my friend Charles Lister noted on Twitter recently). But how far is the notion of ISIS as a foreign force true?
It is my contention that the most useful way for an observer to look into this question…
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