October 24, 2017

Beyond the Caliphate: Foreign Fighters and the Threat of Returnees

As the so-called Islamic State (IS) loses territorial control of its caliphate, there is little doubt that the group or something similar will survive the worldwide campaign against it. As long as the conditions that allowed the group to exist in the first place remain, IS or something like it will survive. The threat will mutate…...


March 23, 2017

Syria: The Humanitarian-Security Nexus

As the Syrian civil war marks its sixth anniversary in March 2017, the plight of Syrian civilians who have been forced to flee their home country over the past six years continues to worsen. The debate around how to most effectively confront the Syrian refugee crisis revolves around an essential question of international security…...


January 27, 2016

Libya, Extremism and the Consequences of Collapse

In a new, in-depth report, The Soufan Group (TSG) examines the security implications of continued instability in Libya. Four years after the revolution that toppled Muammar Qadhafi, the security situation in Libya remains volatile. The lack of centralized control has allowed criminal and violent extremist groups to flourish, including al-Qaeda and the Islamic State....


December 07, 2015

Foreign Fighters

In June 2014, The Soufan Group (TSG) released its initial Foreign Fighters in Syria report, which identified approximately 12,000 foreign fighters from 81 countries. Nearly eighteen months later, despite sustained international effort to contain the Islamic State and stem the flow of militants traveling to Syria, the number of foreign fighters has more than doubled…...


October 08, 2014

The Islamic State

The self-styled Islamic State is an accident of history, emerging from multiple social, political, and economic tensions in the Middle East and beyond. It has challenged the territorial divisions imposed on the region following the collapse of the Ottoman Empire by carving out for itself a large area of territory....