In early 2016, a huge cache of entry documents containing a wealth of information on new recruits attempting to join the so-called Islamic State (IS) in Syria was leaked. The vast majority of the individuals named in these records joined the terrorist organization in the years 2013 and 2014.
One rarely gets the opportunity to view the internal documents of terrorist groups whose survival relies and depends on absolute secrecy. That is why such records are so valuable and important. This research paper presents an in-depth analysis of the leaked records of 759 Saudi Arabian foreign terrorist fighters contained in this cache, both citizens and residents, and presents key insights into the profile of the Saudi IS recruit.
By analyzing IS’s own records and focusing on those pertaining to individuals hailing from a country that has always been targeted and regarded as the ultimate prize for terrorist groups and organizations (namely Saudi Arabia), this study represents an important step in increasing contextual knowledge. Such knowledge is vital when dealing with a phenomenon as intricate as terrorism and a process as complex as radicalization.