Since 2012 several hundred Australians have travelled to Syria and Iraq to undertake jihad with Islamic State, al-Qaeda or other radical Islamist groups. Dozens more supported them financially or in the planning of attacks. There are many preconceptions about the types of people in Australia attracted to jihad, but there has been little data publicly available on which to base these assumptions. For the first time, Lowy Institute Fellow Rodger Shanahan has collected and analysed data on 173 individuals known to have joined radical Islamist terrorist organisations or who have been charged with terrorism offences. This new analysis provides comprehensive information on the backgrounds of Australians who have undertaken jihad, which will enhance our understanding of the typologies and motivations of those who are likely to be attracted to similar messaging in the future.
Rodger Shanahan had a conversation with Lowy Institute Research Fellow Kelsey Munro to discuss this unique analysis of the Australian terrorist scene.