Daniel Byman’s book is a timely piece on the history and evolution of foreign fighters’ role in jihad. Readers will walk away from this book with a better understanding of the severity of the threat of foreign fighters, as well as how the rise of the Islamic State was possible to begin with. Foreign fighter flow to jihadi conflicts is evidence of the way the modern, globalized world fans conflict beyond its regional nucleus.
Through a nuanced understanding of historical ties between jihadist groups and business people, policymakers and academics can more rationally assess incentives, supply chains, and other ways in in which the economic mingles with the political in fragile and civil war environments. Ahmad’s book can provide them with a useful point of departure for such endeavors.