Western Muslims have joined jihadi groups in Afghanistan/Pakistan, Somalia and Syria to defend Islam from its perceived enemies. Transnational Islamist networks have played a pivotal role in bringing them to conflict zones by fulfilling three functions: radicalisation through mosques, radical preachers, and the Internet; recruitment which can be conducted either physically or digitally; and identity formation that provides the radicalised recruits with a larger cause to fight for as members of an imagined global community. Transnational Islamist networks are multifunctional entities on the rise.
Karagiannis, Emmanuel. 2013. "Transnational Islamist Networks: Western Fighters in Afghanistan, Somalia and Syria." The International Spectator: Italian Journal of International Affairs (December): 119-134. http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/03932729.2013.847696#tabModule