Monday, 9 February 2015

ICSR’s one-eyed definition of ‘foreign fighters’

Here’s an attempt by Sarabiany to correct a Washington Post information graphic, adding the pro-Assad fighters normally ignored when the term “foreign fighters” is used. Fixing the arrow sizes is a harder job, so have a close look at those numbers:

Peter R Neumann and the ICSR (The International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation and Political Violence, Department of War Studies, King’s College London) actually use a sectarian definition of foreign fighter, “foreigners that have joined Sunni militant organizations,” but that regularly gets ignored when their figures are used for news graphics.

This sectarian definition is despite the ICSR defining itself as “non-partisan.”

A week after the Washington Post published the Sunni-only original of the above graphic, they published an article on the little-mentioned pro-Assad foreign fighters:

These little-noticed foreign fighters may be tipping the balance in Syria
by Adam Taylor, Washington Post, 4 February 2015.

And another corrective here:

The most important thing in the Middle East that no one is talking about
by Armin Rosen, Business Insider, 5 February 2015.

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