Anastasia Latenkova

  • Address: /
  • Email: /
  • Telephone: /
  • LinkedIn: /

Graduate Student of Security Studies, Institute of Political Studies, Faculty of Social Sciences, Charles University Prague



The main subject of the paper is foreign fighters and their families who remain in Iraq and Syria. The paper aims to shed light on the current state of unreturned foreign fighters and their families in Iraqi and Syrian camps and prisonsto facilitate the discussion on an appropriate response towards the “unreturned”. The paper additionally attempts to reflect on possible consequences of the current state of the foreign fighters and their families in Iraq and Syria. Theoretical framework of the paper revolves around the definition of a foreign fighter and potential causes for becoming one. The paper employs qualitative methodological approach and relies upon secondary descriptive data collected through the analysis of academic resources and news outlets. The paper explores three main sections of the discussion: the unreturned in Syria, the unreturned in Iraq, and stateless humans. As a result, the paper demonstrates how the unreturned foreign fighters and their families, isolated and condemned, are cemented into a socio-judicial limbo. They live in dire conditions having no determined future or a community to return to. The paper concludes that such conditions are compatible with a rationale for joining the IS. Such a conclusion represents a serious challenge which, if neglected, can lead to the reemergence of the next IS.