Altruism and adventure could lead to fight against IS
ALTRUISM and a sense of adventure could be key reasons behind a number of Australians leaving to fight the Islamic State with Kurdish forces, a leading criminologist says.
After Brisbane man Ashley Dyball, also known as Mitchell Scott, left to fight with Kurdish forces earlier this year, he wrote this week on Facebook he was willing to sacrifice himself to save innocent people from the IS.
Mr Dyball's message follows the death of former Bundaberg man Ashley Johnston, who died fighting with the Kurdish militia in February.
Australian National University criminologist Dr Clarke Jones said fighters with both forces often left chasing a "sense of adventure".
However, he said those fighting with the Kurds likely had humanitarian grounds for leaving.
The criminologist said there were many factors that could lead someone to become radicalised.
Ultimately each person's decision to leave was driven by individual issues.
"While the government is overstretching the threat of IS here, the majority of Australians and other ethnic groups I think sympathise with the Kurds," Dr Jones said. But he said, either way, Australians joining the war would still face Australian laws if they tried to return.
Those civilians and un-trained people going to fight also only complicated Australian military efforts.
"It's certainly not something we should encourage, because these people are putting themselves in harm's way.
"And once they get there, this conflict is not black and white - there's not just one side against another," Dr Jones said.