A study by a Saudi research center is challenging the notion that jihadi fighters are necessarily disenfranchised and lacking opportunity, with its lead researcher saying on Thursday that-

That a new generation of Saudi militants are relatively well educated, not driven purely by religious ideology and show little interested in suicidal missions.

The 40-page study, published by the King Faisal Center for Research and Islamic Studies in conjunction with the International Center for the Study and Radicalization at King's College of London, looked at 759 Saudi recruits who joined the Daesh group mostly between 2013 and 2014.

That's roughly a third of the overall number of Saudis who fought in Syria. The data was drawn from leaked Daesh group entry documents.

The Saudi Interior Ministry previously said that that 2,500 Saudis had gone to Syria in the years before the Kingdom criminalized fighting abroad in early 2014. Only Tunisia sent more foreign fighters.

Subsequently, the kingdom was the target of numerous Daesh attacks that killed dozens of people, as well as in Kuwait.

Researcher Abdullah bin Khaled Al Saud said the fighters were neither loners nor social outcasts but appear to have been motivated by the heightened sectarianism that began to color the 2011 Syrian revolution as it slid into armed conflict.

A turning point came when the Iranian-backed Shiite Hezbollah group decisively committed to join the conflict in May 2013 to defend the Syrian government against the mostly Sunni Muslim resistance.

''That actually was the point when the first wave of Saudis travelling to Syria started to happen,'' AI-Saud told the Associated Press.

''So, I think instability, war and violence certainly plays a major role when it comes to the specific Saudi context.''

In contrast, issues of disenfranchisement, poverty and criminal pasts factored heavily in IS fighters hailing from European countries like France, Belgium, and the UK to name a few.

An AP analysis of some 3,000 leaked Daesh documents had found that most of the recruits hailing from a range of nationalities, or around 70 percent, came with only the most basic knowledge of Islam - the lowest possible choice on the forms.

This created fertile ground for the indoctrination of the recruits in line with the group's extremist interpretation of Islam. [Agencies]

The honor and serving of the latest operational research on Millennial Jihadis, continues.


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