Aaron Y. Zelin is the Richard Borow Fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy where his research focuses on Sunni Arab jihadi groups in North Africa and Syria as well as the trend of foreign fighting and online jihadism.
Articles & Testimony
A deeper look into how one of the organization's Tunisian factions in Syria adopted and practiced an even more radical distortion of Islamic thought than its parent group.
Many within Syria viewed Tunisians as more extreme relative to other foreign fighters. There is a twofold aspect to this. The first relates to the human rights violations that Tunisians have been involved in within Syria, which are not necessarily unique considering all of the human rights violations committed by members of IS, whether local or foreign. The second, which this article focuses on, relates to some Tunisians involved in an extremist trend within IS called the al-Hazimiya (Hazimis), named after the progenitor of the ideas these individuals follow, a Saudi religious scholar. Although some in the Tunisian jihadosphere claim that the spread of this trend is a consequence of the Tunisian government attempting to sully and divide the Tunisian jihadi movement, it is a bit more complicated than that...