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ISIS recruits are mostly well educated and wealthy, the terror group’s files reveal

Jihadis heading to the Middle East to blow themselves up in the name of ISIS are likely to be more educated than their countrymen.

A report by the World Bank has revealed most defectors to the terror group have completed secondary school and more than a quarter have even been to university.

Of the 3,803 case studies referenced in the report, only 15 percent left education without completing secondary school and less than two percent are illiterate.

Those choosing to be suicide bombers were most likely to have been unemployed or have a military history, the report found.


The data has come from a leaked cache of ISIS’ personnel records handed over to researchers by a suspected whistleblower.

‘Poverty is not a driver of radicalization into violent extremism.

‘Foreign recruits from the Middle East, North Africa and South and East Asia are significantly more educated than what is typical in their region,’ the report said.

‘An important finding is that these individuals are far from being uneducated or illiterate.

‘Most claim to have attended secondary school and a large fraction have gone on to study at university.

‘Notably, Daesh recruits from Africa, South and East Asia and the Middle East are significantly more educated than individuals from their cohort in their region of origin.’

The vast majority of terrorists declared having been in work before joining the terror group.

Occupations included managers, employers, professional workers, private employees and students.

Also revealed in the research was that recruits often stated which role they would like having joined ISIS.

Many university-educated militants chose to be fighters or suicide bombers as well as administrators.

‘Recruits who reported not working or being in the military before joining Daesh are the most prone to choosing “suicide fighter” as their preferred option,’ the report said.

ISIS’ recruits come from all continents across the globe.

Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, Morocco, Turkey and Egypt are the top five countries supplying terrorists.

Among the non-Muslim-majority countries, Russia, France, and Germany supply the largest numbers of Daesh’s foreign workforce.

The average foreign recruit is 27.4 years old.

The youngest recruits come from Libya at an average of 23.7 years old while the oldest are from Indonesia, averaging 33.5 years old.


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