When you decimate a region’s economy with years of war, warrior becomes the only viable job option.

Conventional wisdom holds religious ideology motivates ISIS fighters. Recent interviews by Lydia Wilson prove this an oversimplification.

He was working as a laborer to support his huge family when he hurt his back and lost his job. It was then…a friend, from the same tribe but only distantly related, approached him with the offer to work for ISIS. The story has been honed through repeated interrogation and the trial, and comes out pat. Life under the Islamic State was just terror, he says; he only fought because he was terrorized. Others may have done it from belief, but he did not. His family needed the money, and this was the only opportunity to provide for them.”