The New Lure of the Syrian War – The Foreign Fighters’ Bosnian Continge Cover Image

The New Lure of the Syrian War – The Foreign Fighters’ Bosnian Continge
The New Lure of the Syrian War – The Foreign Fighters’ Bosnian Continge

Author(s): Vlado Azinović, Muhamed Jusić
Contributor(s): Dijana Jovičić Hadžiahmetović (Translator)
Subject(s): Criminal Law, International Law, Islam studies, International relations/trade, Security and defense, Studies in violence and power, Sociology of Religion, Peace and Conflict Studies
Published by: Atlantska inicijativa: Udruženje za promicanje euroatlantskih integracija BiH
Keywords: Syrian war; foreign fighters; citizens of Bosnia and Herzegovina; battlefields in Syria and Iraq; security threats; conflict; jihad; criminal prosecution of fighters;
Summary/Abstract: The departure of citizens from Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) to battle fields in Syria and Iraq, and the possibility of their return, is obviously worrying; but this is not the most immanent security threat facing BiH, which continues to be constrained by a peace agreement that embodied rather than resolved the fundamental dispute at the heart of the 1992-1995 war – whether the country should be united or divided – and resulted in a sort of socio-political purgatory. This extension of the war by peaceful means not only determines political, social, and economic dynamics in the country, but also limits its capacity to effectively respond to almost any challenge. In this way, the failure of the state in itself produces a number of security risks. Still, individual and group departures to foreign battle fields are not a direct consequence of these dynamics. The foreign fighter phenomenon is instead the localization of a global trend that is thriving in certain contexts. In Bosnia and Herzegovina, this has meant that a country that was once a destination for foreign fighters in the 1990s has now become a country of their origin. In mid-2015, the Atlantic Initiative published a study examining the foreign fighter phenomenon in BiH. A year later, we believe there are new developments that merit another look. For example, we have seen a shift in the motives driving people to depart for Syria and Iraq. Research conducted from the middle of 2015 through the spring of 2016 was based on limited access to police and judicial les and open sources, as well as a series of research interviews with police officers, prosecutors, and diplomats. Due to the sensitive nature of our research and their professional responsibilities, almost all interviewees asked to speak on the condition of anonymity. As researchers, we strive to clearly identify sources; but, acknowledging the need for anonymity in this case, we chose to protect the identities of interviewees. As for the individuals whose activities and personal backgrounds were the subject of this research, we identified them only in cases when, a) they revealed their identities themselves (during online activities on social networks, for instance), b) their identities were published in the media, or c) they were identified in public, after arrests in police raids or when they were prosecuted before the Court of BiH.

  • Print-ISBN-13: 978-9958-0320-5-9
  • Page Count: 194
  • Publication Year: 2016
  • Language: English