Contributor Perspectives

Georgia Tackles the Thorny Problem of Radicalization

Onnik James Krikorian
Board of Contributors
Sep 10, 2017 | 13:12 GMT
Omar al-Shishani, often dubbed the Islamic State's

Omar al-Shishani, often dubbed the Islamic State's "minister of war," is pictured in an undated image published by the Islamic State.

(Islamic State Media)

Levan Tokhosashvili, also known as "Al Bara Pankisi," died fighting for the Islamic State in Syria. At least, that's what Georgian media reported on Aug. 28. But at the beginning of September, those claims came under scrutiny when Tokhosashvili's friends and relatives in Georgia insisted he was still alive. As Joanna Paraszczuk, a researcher tracking Russian-speaking foreign fighters in Syria, noted on her blog at the time, the confusion summed up just how problematic verifying information from conflict zones can be. She might also have added that the same holds true for understanding the extent of the threat of Foreign Terrorist Fighters (FTFs) from the South Caucasus and radicalization in Georgia. Though some research into the subject has been done, hard numbers are tough to come by, and the push and pull factors behind the recruitment of these fighters are still open to much debate....

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