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ISIS recruitment from the South Caucasus: the case of Georgia

Inessa Arzumanyan

vol. VI(1)

Pages 91-105


Abstract

The Islamic State of Iraq and Levant is the most discussed terrorist

organization of our days and has reached new levels recently. With the

evolution of the organization many foreign fighters have been attracted to

join the ranks of ISIS. This research concentrates on the case of

recruitment of new fighters from Georgia and tries to give answers to

how and why some Georgian citizens from some regions are becoming

part of the Islamic State. The sources covered have showed that the

recruitment processes taking place in the region of Pankisi Gorge carry

both online and face-to-face characters. The population of the Pankisi

Gorge is an easy target for the ISIS; Chechen fighters, Kists (Muslim

Georgians) and young men from poor families are included in the

targeted population of the IS. The analyses made show that there are both

religious and socio-economic reasons for the Georgian citizens from this

region to decide in favor of joining ISIS: feeling vulnerable as religious

minorities under Orthodox church, eliminations of justice, earning money

and becoming a hero. Considering the importance of the issue of

terrorism, the research also includes a section on how the Georgian

government deals with the external and internal threats of terrorism.

Keywords: Georgia, terrorism, ISIS, recruitment, Pankisi Gorge.

Inessa Arzumanyan
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