What motivates ISIS fighters along with those who fight them

The researchers handed the fighters a set of cards, engraved with study questions to answer.

To Atran’s surprise, the fighters were still willing to answer research questions; This kind of was just in which those particular questions were incomprehensible to some of them because the questions focused on the wrong motivations, he said.

Atran along with his colleagues spent the past couple of years interviewing captured ISIS fighters, as well as Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) members along with various other front-line fighters battling against ISIS, to better understand what drives anyone to willingly attack along with die for a cause.

The researchers discovered in which three crucial factors motivate both ISIS fighters along with those fighting them: a deep commitment to sacred values, the readiness to forsake family for those values, along with the perceived spiritual strength of the group or community in which the fighter represents.

ISIS Fast Facts
The findings, which were published within the journal Nature Human Behaviour on Monday, also help explain why the ISIS fighters whom the researchers interviewed were irritated with the initial line of questioning, Atran said.

in which first round of research questions was not related to sacred values. Yet when Atran along with his colleagues developed fresh questions along with measurements based around spirituality along with values, the ISIS fighters commenced opening up, he said.

The study could “help to inform policy decisions for the common defense” along with fighting terrorism, the researchers write.

“The main thing in which actually matters to them is actually what they ‘feel in their hearts,’ as they themselves put This kind of. Some of these guys are actually committed,” Atran said, adding in which he found the same characteristics within the Kurdish fighters along with others fighting ISIS.

“In our material world, we have underestimated or underplayed the spiritual dimension of human action,” he said. “Doing so runs the risk of leaving ourselves open to people who are motivated by deeper spiritual along with sacred values along with virtues, along with I think in which’s the greatest danger we face.”

‘Not only are they willing to sacrifice their group however their family’

To examine what may drive someone’s willingness to fight along with die, the researchers analyzed their previous interviews with captured ISIS fighters along with PKK members via 2015.

Then, within the fresh study, the researchers carried out a quantitative field study in which they interviewed 19 Peshmerga or Kurdish Regional Government forces, 17 Iraqi army Kurds along with 20 Arab Sunni combatants — all fighting ISIS — about their willingness to make costly sacrifices for the sake of their values, via February to March 2016.

Many of those interviews were conducted on the front lines of war.

Ex-terrorist explains how to fight ISIS online

To get access to the front line, “we had to talk to the political leaders or whoever was in charge of the territory,” Atran said.

He added in which his colleagues along with he would certainly try to connect with the fighters through word of mouth or even with the help of journalists covering the war.

The sacrifices mentioned in their interviews were dying, letting their families suffer, killing civilians, undertaking a suicide attack or torturing women along with children.

The researchers checked the combatants’ responses to interview questions against objective factors, such as the frequency of being wounded in battle or time spent at the front line, Atran said.

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Next, the researchers conducted 14 separate online surveys along with controlled psychological experiments in which 6,649 noncombatants in all regions of Spain, including the North African enclaves of Ceuta along with Melilla, indicated their own willingness to make costly sacrifices.

Among all study participants, whether on the front lines or noncombatants, the researchers found in which the willingness to fight along with make sacrifices was associated with whether people saw themselves as having greater spiritual strength than their enemy rather than having greater physical strength.

The findings were based on all study participants’ in-person interview responses to questionnaires in which included experimental designs along with measures or online survey results.

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