Here are five think-tank reports on al-Qaeda, Syria, jihadism and foreign fighters that have come out in the past month.
I have not read any of them in full yet, but have read sections of the RAND and Brookings reports and definitely recommend them. The RAND one contains extremely useful data, regardless of questions about the media coverage of it, and gives a valuable historic overview of al-Qaeda and like-minded groups.
I’m looking forward to reading the foreign fighter reports, particularly as we’re passing the point where the threat from the Syrian foreign fighter mobilisation can be considered hypothetical. The Institute for Strategic Dialogue usually produces excellent reports, so I expect this one will be good. However I’m less keen on Quilliam, and am unfamiliar with the Soufan Group.
All these reports are free and in PDF format.
Foreign Fighters in Syria
The Soufan Group
2 June 2014
Dynamic Stalemate: Surveying Syria’s Military Landscape
Brookings Doha Centre
19 May 2014
Jihad Trending: A Comprehensive Analysis of Online Extremism and How to Counter it
12 May 2014
Foreign Fighters, the Challenge of Counter-Narratives
Institute for Strategic Dialogue
10 May 2014