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Walking away from terrorism: Accounts of disengagement from radical and extremist movements

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This accessible new book looks at how and why individuals leave terrorist movements, and considers the lessons and implications that emerge from this process. Focusing on the tipping points for disengagement from groups such as Al Qaeda, the IRA and the UVF, this volume is informed by the dramatic and sometimes extraordinary accounts that the terrorists themselves offered to the author about why they left terrorism behind. The book examines three major issues: what we currently know about de-radicalisation and disengagement, how discussions with terrorists about their experiences of disengagement can show how exit routes come about, and how they then fare as 'ex-terrorists' away from the structures that protected them, what the implications of these findings are for law-enforcement officers, policy-makers and civil society on a global scale. Concluding with a series of thought-provoking yet controversial suggestions for future efforts at controlling terrorist behaviour, Walking Away From Terrorism provides an comprehensive introduction to disengagement and de-radicalisation and offers policymakers a series of considerations for the development of counter-radicalization and de-radicalisation processes. This book will be essential reading for students of terrorism and political violence, war and conflict studies, security studies and political psychology.

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... While we recognize the plurality of definitions of radicalization, including the debate about whether there should be a differentiation between violent and non-violent radicalization (Bartlett & Miller, 2012), in our research, we define radicalization as the process by which one becomes an extremist, typically by adopting certain ideas leading to the use of violence or other acts of terrorism (Koehler, 2017, p. 67). We also rely on Horgan's (2009) definition of disengagement as a change in role or function of an individual within an extremist group (p. 152), and deradicalization as the process by which an individual reduces and removes their affective, cognitive, and behavioral commitments to extremist ideology and violence (p. ...
... 65) In spite of this recognition of the importance of radicalization to deradicalization, and vice versa, scholarship tends to approach these areas of research interest as separate phenomenon. The result is that there are often independent literatures for understanding why individuals join terrorist organizations and for how and why individuals choose to 'walk away' (Vergani et al., 2020;Kruglanski et al., 2019;Barrelle, 2015;Dalgaard-Nielsen, 2010;Horgan, 2009;Bjørgo, 2009;Moghaddam, 2005). ...
... While the research that addresses the link between radicalization and deradicalization also recognizes the complex context and idiosyncratic nature of entry and exit decisions (Barrelle, 2015;Horgan, 2009), persistent questions remain about the psychological mechanisms that drive the individual's trajectory through the involvement-radicalization/disengagement-deradicalization sequence. This is where we believe an appreciation for psychological development and the developmental core need is helpful, as it unites the radicalization-disengagement-deradicalization continuum as a gestalt and helps unravel the complicated relationship between these fraught processes. ...
Article
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This article presents a case study of voluntary exit from a far-right group in the United States. Our analysis of “Tom” (a pseudonym) foregrounds the role of psychological development in “Tom’s” narrative of disengagement. While developmental factors are sometimes referenced in the radicalization/deradicalization literature, they are often reduced to risk factors or early environmental adversities that are viewed as predictors for subsequent involvement in extremism. By contrast, we offer a deeper understanding of psychological developmental factors as a “core need.” While the core need originates in normative development and attachment history, it also arises out of an individual’s idiographic context and unique path through development, helping to establish identity security and acting as the tacit background driver across entry and exit. In this case study, and in our qualitatively informed model, the developmental core need is crucial to understanding the often idiosyncratic processes of radicalization, disengagement, and deradicalization.
... Even though the physical Islamic State (IS) was dismantled in Syria in 2018-2019, IS "continues to stretch its reach beyond borders, breeding homegrown militant jihadi killers wherever possible" [5] (McDowell-Smith, Speckhard and Yayla 2017:51), which means that IS still exists. Moreover, "as foreign fighters begin to stream home, a whole new set of challenges will begin" (Speckhard, Shajkovci and Yayla 2018:18) [6]. 2 While a huge body of research has examined ways into Islamic extremism, why and how people exit such environments is less well explored (see [9,10] Dalgaard-Nielsen 2013; Horgan 2009). However, some scholars have initiated studies of defection from Islamic extremist milieus from a data-driven perspective [10][11][12][13][14][15] . ...
... Even though the physical Islamic State (IS) was dismantled in Syria in 2018-2019, IS "continues to stretch its reach beyond borders, breeding homegrown militant jihadi killers wherever possible" [5] (McDowell-Smith, Speckhard and Yayla 2017:51), which means that IS still exists. Moreover, "as foreign fighters begin to stream home, a whole new set of challenges will begin" (Speckhard, Shajkovci and Yayla 2018:18) [6]. 2 While a huge body of research has examined ways into Islamic extremism, why and how people exit such environments is less well explored (see [9,10] Dalgaard-Nielsen 2013; Horgan 2009). However, some scholars have initiated studies of defection from Islamic extremist milieus from a data-driven perspective [10][11][12][13][14][15] . ...
... Moreover, "as foreign fighters begin to stream home, a whole new set of challenges will begin" (Speckhard, Shajkovci and Yayla 2018:18) [6]. 2 While a huge body of research has examined ways into Islamic extremism, why and how people exit such environments is less well explored (see [9,10] Dalgaard-Nielsen 2013; Horgan 2009). However, some scholars have initiated studies of defection from Islamic extremist milieus from a data-driven perspective [10][11][12][13][14][15] . To date, there has been a heavy focus within the literature on the potential challenges and security threats defectors and returnees pose and how these should be handled e.g., [1,16,17] (Malet and Hayes 2018; Pokalova 2020; Vestergaard 2018). ...
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Since the Syrian civil war erupted in 2011, an increasing number of European youth have joined Salafi-jihadist milieus in their home countries and/or in the Syrian/Iraqi conflict zone. Some are ardent believers in ending their days as—what they perceive to be—martyrs. Others renege on their commitment, return, and resocialize into conventional society. While engagement, disengagement, and resocialization have each been explored as phases separately within the existing literature, a coherent, criminological study of how those sequences are interconnected has still not been explored in a Danish context from an empirical angle. On the basis of qualitative interviews with three Danish Salafi-jihadist defectors (for example, from the Islamic State), this article unravels the connection and disconnection between engagement, disengagement, and resocialization. The analysis is theoretically informed by David Matza’s theory of drift (1964). However, the theory does have its limitations. As the commitment to Salafi-jihadism entails more than simply an “episodic release from moral constraint”, which defines drift, the informants are only part-time drifters, and here it is argued that the informants are rather entering and exiting a spiraling vortex of Salafi-jihadism. These entries and exits are fueled by the returnees’ nurtured and fractured fantasies.
... In addition to the history of war in Iraq, terrorism is a process that starts with simple steps towards radicalization and evolves into acts of violence (Horgan, 2009). It is possible that the faith campaign (Al-Hamla Al-Imaniyah), invented and enforced by the Saddam Hussein regime in the period between 1990 to his last days of rule in Spring 2003, was a step towards shifting the country as a whole in the direction of Islamist extremism (Helfont, 2014(Helfont, , 2018. ...
... Still, the prevalence rate of 54.5% of PTSD is exceptionally high, even when compared with Iraqi refugees and findings among criminal gang members (Kerig et al., 2016;Return Working Group et al., 2019;Wood and Alleyne, 2010;Wood et al., 2017). This high rate of mental disorder among affiliates of a terrorist group challenges the common understanding that terrorist groups rely on mentally healthy members and purposely exclude the mentally ill during their screening process, as they deem them unreliable (Horgan, 2009(Horgan, , 2014Silke, 2014). However, in lack of a detailed temporal assessment or a longitudinal observation we cannot determine to what extent the participants had been traumatized before recruitment, during combat, or after imprisonment. ...
... CVE involves working 'upstream' of the problem to focus more on prevention and addressing the risk factors that produce violent extremism more than police-led CT is generally able to do. CVE also involves working 'downstream' on disengagement and rehabilitation in ways that go beyond the remit of CT (Abbas, 2020; Barrelle, 2015;Bjørgo & Horgan, 2009;Demant et al., 2008;El-Said & Harrigan, 2012;Hansen & Lid, 2020;Horgan, 2009aHorgan, , 2009bHwang, 2018;Koehler, 2016Koehler, , 2017aKruglanski et al., 2014;Marsden, 2017;Yunus, 2018). ...
... The fact that a number of relatively successful prison rehabilitation programs have been developed around the world means that templates exist that can be adapted to the Indonesian context (Børgo & Horgan, 2009;Demant et al., 2008;El-Said, 2015;El-Said & Harrigan, 2012;Hansen & Lid, 2020;Horgan, 2009aHorgan, , 2009bHwang, 2018;Koehler, 2016Koehler, , 2017Kruglanski et al., 2014;LaFree et al., 2020;Marsden, 2017;Silke, 2013;Yunus, 2018). The Singapore religious rehabilitation group (RRG) program appears to have achieved significant success (Jayakumar, 2019). ...
Chapter
The case study contributions to this book reveal the importance of recognising the full range of actors involved in P/CVE and the need to foster deep collaboration between these diverse stakeholders. Greater collaboration between these actors is necessary to help create more effective programs and responses and facilitate more efficient alignment between stakeholder activities. One welcome and important development is the shift towards more fully supporting the contributions of women to P/CVE. Traditionally, both violent extremism and P/CVE have been dominated by men and masculine narratives of security, violence, war and state power, while women have been marginalised and issues of gender deemed irrelevant. Working with women in developing economic independence can also play an important role in capacity building and empowering women to be agents of peace within their families and broader communities, as well as preventing women from engaging in violent extremism themselves.
... CVE involves working 'upstream' of the problem to focus more on prevention and addressing the risk factors that produce violent extremism more than police-led CT is generally able to do. CVE also involves working 'downstream' on disengagement and rehabilitation in ways that go beyond the remit of CT (Abbas, 2020; Barrelle, 2015;Bjørgo & Horgan, 2009;Demant et al., 2008;El-Said & Harrigan, 2012;Hansen & Lid, 2020;Horgan, 2009aHorgan, , 2009bHwang, 2018;Koehler, 2016Koehler, , 2017aKruglanski et al., 2014;Marsden, 2017;Yunus, 2018). ...
... The fact that a number of relatively successful prison rehabilitation programs have been developed around the world means that templates exist that can be adapted to the Indonesian context (Børgo & Horgan, 2009;Demant et al., 2008;El-Said, 2015;El-Said & Harrigan, 2012;Hansen & Lid, 2020;Horgan, 2009aHorgan, , 2009bHwang, 2018;Koehler, 2016Koehler, , 2017Kruglanski et al., 2014;LaFree et al., 2020;Marsden, 2017;Silke, 2013;Yunus, 2018). The Singapore religious rehabilitation group (RRG) program appears to have achieved significant success (Jayakumar, 2019). ...
Chapter
This booklet is intended to complement William’s guidebook (2021) and existing P/CVE toolkits, in particular RAND’s toolkit (Helmus et al., 2017), Hedayah’s evaluation toolkit (Mattei & Zeiger, 2018), USIP’s introduction to evaluation (Holmer et al., 2018) and International Alert and UNDP’s toolkits (Holdaway & Ruth, 2018). It seeks to offer practical advice to civil society organisations about how to design an evidence-based evaluation of P/CVE programs. The final section contains a library of measurement tools as a first step towards standardisation of P/CVE evaluation measurement in Indonesia. Currently, we lack a comprehensive understanding of what works to prevent violent extremism because we don’t have enough reliable evaluations of P/CVE programs to form our evidence base. We argue that it is useful to think that the difficulties encountered in conducting rigorous evaluations are not so very different from the ones that other social programs have to deal with, for example prevention programs that aim at reducing the incidence of risky behaviours among stigmatised communities, including gang violence, alcoholism, drug addiction, obesity and family violence (McDonald et al., 2012; Swinburn et al., 2007). Consequently, we need to closely examine the evaluations conducted in these related fields and learn from the methods used to overcome these barriers. We should seek to make good use of tools and best practices from fields like psychology and criminology to identify best practices and lessons learned to reduce the impact of problems related to social desirability bias in evaluation surveys.
... CVE involves working 'upstream' of the problem to focus more on prevention and addressing the risk factors that produce violent extremism more than police-led CT is generally able to do. CVE also involves working 'downstream' on disengagement and rehabilitation in ways that go beyond the remit of CT (Abbas, 2020; Barrelle, 2015;Bjørgo & Horgan, 2009;Demant et al., 2008;El-Said & Harrigan, 2012;Hansen & Lid, 2020;Horgan, 2009aHorgan, , 2009bHwang, 2018;Koehler, 2016Koehler, , 2017aKruglanski et al., 2014;Marsden, 2017;Yunus, 2018). ...
... The fact that a number of relatively successful prison rehabilitation programs have been developed around the world means that templates exist that can be adapted to the Indonesian context (Børgo & Horgan, 2009;Demant et al., 2008;El-Said, 2015;El-Said & Harrigan, 2012;Hansen & Lid, 2020;Horgan, 2009aHorgan, , 2009bHwang, 2018;Koehler, 2016Koehler, , 2017Kruglanski et al., 2014;LaFree et al., 2020;Marsden, 2017;Silke, 2013;Yunus, 2018). The Singapore religious rehabilitation group (RRG) program appears to have achieved significant success (Jayakumar, 2019). ...
Chapter
This chapter examines what we know about radicalisation and recruitment into violent extremism in Indonesia over the past 70 years. It reviews the emergence of proto-Islamist violent extremism in Indonesia (well before the first formulations of jihadi thought by Egypt’s Sayyid Qutb) with the Darul Islam (DI) movement in the early 1950s. It tracks the evolution of Salafi jihadism in Indonesia in successive chapters from the original DI insurgency, through Salafi extremism and the revival of DI in an underground insurgency in the 1970s, led by Abdullah Sungkar and Abu Bakar Baasyir, and their retreat, or hijrah to Malaysia in the 1980s. This is followed by the sending of mujahideen to Afghanistan in the 1980s and 1990s which culminated in the declaration of Jemaah Islamiyah (JI) in 1993, (with more extreme JI splinter factions carrying out terrorist bombings in the 2000s) leading to the engagement of JI and other extremists in the conflict in Syria and Iraq as foreign terrorist fighters (FTF), first with Jabhat al-Nusra and al-Qaeda and then with ISIS. The second half of the chapter examines the sociology and psychology of radicalisation in Indonesia by unpacking survey research carried out by LSI (Lingkaran Survei Indonesia) for the Wahid Foundation. It draws on national survey data collected in April 2016 and October 2017 with adult Muslims across Indonesia and a third survey, from March 2017, of Muslim youth involved in Rohis (Rohani Islam) religious instruction classes (Rohis). The analysis examines the key issues of imagined enemies and out groups, intergroup contact and support for extremism, the role of toxic masculinity and the contribution of digital literacy. It finds significant correlation between all of these and levels of support for violent and hateful extremism. And in particular, it finds that there is convincing empirical evidence indicating that higher levels of religious observance and religious knowledge, together with belonging to mainstream religious organisations, are associated with lower levels of support for violent extremism. Contact with religious out-groups is found to be an important factor associated with reduction of violent extremism. The quality of the relationship established with out-group members is crucial: the more substantial it is, the more likely it is to shape attitudes and perceptions. This chapter incorporates a comprehensive compilation of the current critical literature from researchers and practitioners.
... CVE involves working 'upstream' of the problem to focus more on prevention and addressing the risk factors that produce violent extremism more than police-led CT is generally able to do. CVE also involves working 'downstream' on disengagement and rehabilitation in ways that go beyond the remit of CT (Abbas, 2020; Barrelle, 2015;Bjørgo & Horgan, 2009;Demant et al., 2008;El-Said & Harrigan, 2012;Hansen & Lid, 2020;Horgan, 2009aHorgan, , 2009bHwang, 2018;Koehler, 2016Koehler, , 2017aKruglanski et al., 2014;Marsden, 2017;Yunus, 2018). ...
... The fact that a number of relatively successful prison rehabilitation programs have been developed around the world means that templates exist that can be adapted to the Indonesian context (Børgo & Horgan, 2009;Demant et al., 2008;El-Said, 2015;El-Said & Harrigan, 2012;Hansen & Lid, 2020;Horgan, 2009aHorgan, , 2009bHwang, 2018;Koehler, 2016Koehler, , 2017Kruglanski et al., 2014;LaFree et al., 2020;Marsden, 2017;Silke, 2013;Yunus, 2018). The Singapore religious rehabilitation group (RRG) program appears to have achieved significant success (Jayakumar, 2019). ...
Chapter
This chapter examines the pressing need for widely available rehabilitation and disengagement P/CVE programs in Indonesia. Whilst the overwhelming majority of P/CVE programs in Indonesia have focussed on primary intervention initiatives there have been a number of innovative pilot projects conducting tertiary interventions, some of which are covered in this book. Nevertheless, there remains a pressing need to implement rehabilitation programs in a more comprehensive fashion. As the case studies presented in this volume make clear, Indonesian civil society organisations (CSOs) have the potential to do much more in this space. What is required is leadership, support and facilitation from the Indonesian government. This will need to involve the corrections system and to be supported by the Indonesian national police but, most crucially, it needs to be led by BNPT, Indonesia’s national Counterterrorism Agency. The fact that disengagement and rehabilitation is so poorly understood, as is reflected by the blithe use of the term deradicalisation as a catch-all, speaks to the challenge facing Indonesia in preventing and countering violent extremism and terrorism. Good work by community groups, CSOs and mass organisations, and remarkably effective responses from Densus 88, the special police counterterrorism detachment, has seen Indonesia bring a once surging terrorism threat under control. But this largely tactical and reactive CT work has not been matched by comprehensive strategic initiatives to break the cycle of violence. In the democratic, post-Suharto regime, era of the past two decades, CT efforts have resulted in the disruption of hundreds of terrorist plots and operational cells and have led to the arrest of more than 1,600 individuals, the vast majority of whom have then been successfully prosecuted, convicted and sentenced on terrorism charges, in court cases generally seen to be transparent and fair. This has resulted in a very significant volume of terrorism detainees cycling through Indonesia’s leaky, overcrowded and under-resourced prison system on relatively short sentences. Given the circumstances, it is remarkable that the consequences of recidivism and re-engagement have not, so far at least, been as bad as feared. And yet, as a September 2020 report by IPAC reminds us, the rates of reengaging in extremist networks and activities mean that there are no grounds for complacency, bearing in mind the many hundreds of terrorism detainees involved and the broader networks of families, friends and associates that their lives influence. This underscores both the need to have more extensive and effective rehabilitation programs in and out of prison, and reasons for being confident that such programs can make a significant difference. This chapter incorporates a comprehensive compilation of the current critical literature from researchers and practitioners.
... CVE involves working 'upstream' of the problem to focus more on prevention and addressing the risk factors that produce violent extremism more than police-led CT is generally able to do. CVE also involves working 'downstream' on disengagement and rehabilitation in ways that go beyond the remit of CT (Abbas, 2020; Barrelle, 2015;Bjørgo & Horgan, 2009;Demant et al., 2008;El-Said & Harrigan, 2012;Hansen & Lid, 2020;Horgan, 2009aHorgan, , 2009bHwang, 2018;Koehler, 2016Koehler, , 2017aKruglanski et al., 2014;Marsden, 2017;Yunus, 2018). ...
... The fact that a number of relatively successful prison rehabilitation programs have been developed around the world means that templates exist that can be adapted to the Indonesian context (Børgo & Horgan, 2009;Demant et al., 2008;El-Said, 2015;El-Said & Harrigan, 2012;Hansen & Lid, 2020;Horgan, 2009aHorgan, , 2009bHwang, 2018;Koehler, 2016Koehler, , 2017Kruglanski et al., 2014;LaFree et al., 2020;Marsden, 2017;Silke, 2013;Yunus, 2018). The Singapore religious rehabilitation group (RRG) program appears to have achieved significant success (Jayakumar, 2019). ...
Book
This book provides an overview of preventing and countering violent extremism (P/CVE) to assist readers in developing a more complete understanding of P/CVE and the issues of radicalisation, disengagement and rehabilitation. It shines a light on some key P/CVE programmes and initiatives in Indonesia and is written to facilitate understanding preventing and countering violent extremism in a larger frame. It is intended to be of interest to civil society activists, security practitioners, communities, policy makers and researchers alike. It represents a collaboration, born out of partnership in the field, that brings together academic researchers and civil society activists from Indonesia and Australia. Around the world, far too little is known about Indonesian society in general and Indonesian Islam and civil society in particular. This is, in large measure, because of the barrier of language. This book represents a small, but hopefully significant, contribution to opening a window to Indonesia. The focus of this book is on the challenging issues entailed with violent and hateful extremism. The initiatives it portrays and the people it describes, and whose voices it channels, are filled with the hope of transforming the world to make it better. Greg Barton is a research professor in Global Islamic Politics in the Alfred Deakin Institute for Citizenship and Globalisation (ADI), Deakin University, researching Islam and civil society, democratisation and countering violent extremism. The central axis of his research interests is the way in which religious thought, individual believers and religious communities respond to modernity and to the modern nation-state. Matteo Vergani is a researcher in ADI and a senior lecturer in sociology at Deakin University, Australia. His primary research interests are political and bias violence, its causes, its impact on society and the study of what could prevent it. he is the founder of the online platform Tackling Hate, which provides free training modules for practitioners working on tackling various forms of hate and extremism. Yenny Wahid is the second daughter of H.E. Abdurrahman Wahid and established the Wahid Foundation to carry on his work in building tolerance and understanding. She was a former journalist for the Australian newspapers, The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age and a member of the special staff for political communication working in the office of President Yudhoyono.
... Several important insights can be gained from the interviews with 60 former terrorists to be conducted by the psychologist John Horgan, who is in charge of the International Centre for the Study of Terrorism at Penn State University. Horgan has shown that people who are more susceptible to terrorist recruitment and radicalization have a tendency to be more likely to be found (Horgan, John, 2009). ...
...  Believes that it's far the becoming a member of a motion to deliver social and psychological rewards, camaraderie, and a heightened experience of identification with a particular Social Movement. (Horgan, John, 2009) ...
Article
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Terrorism and its effect on contemporary society is one of the core and vital subjects of International Political Economy (IPE) during the last years. Despite the fact that this is not a new phenomenon, special attention has been given to this issue, specifically after the terrorist attacks of 9/11, 2001. The objective of this paper analyzes to what dimensions terrorism affects the global economy mainly the two predominant actors of the conflict i.e. Pakistan and the United States. For this purpose, this article will take a look at the financial cost of War for Pakistan and how Pakistan's decision to become frontline State has affected its Economy, its effect on agriculture, manufacturing, tourism, FDI, increased defense costs The normative and qualitative methodology shows a significant disadvantage between terrorist activities and economic growth, social progress, and political development. The results shows that Pakistan has bear slow economic growth while facing terrorist activities more than US. In this last section, the paper suggests ways and means to satisfy people around the world not to go in the hands of fundamentals and terrorists.
... In recent years, violent radicalization has become one of the prime threats to societies' peaceful coexistence, safety and cohesion Moyano, 2019). Radicalization is essentially understood as a social and psychological process involving a gradual commitment to an extremist political or religious ideology (Horgan, 2009). Even though radicalization has diverse consequences and seldom culminates in violence (Moskalenko & McCauley, 2009), terrorism, meaning violence used deliberately against civilians to achieve political objectives (Ganor, 2002), is its most extreme expression. ...
... En los últimos años se ha constatado cómo la radicalización violenta se ha erigido como una de las principales amenazas para la convivencia, la seguridad y la cohesión de las sociedades Moyano, 2019). Básicamente, la radicalización se entiende como un proceso social y psicológico de compromiso progresivo con una ideología política o religiosa extremista (Horgan, 2009). Aunque las consecuencias de la radicalización son diversas y en la mayoría de los casos no culminan con el ejercicio de la violencia (Moskalenko & McCauley, 2009), el terrorismo, entendido como la violencia utilizada deliberadamente contra los civiles para alcanzar objetivos políticos (Ganor, 2002), constituye la expresión más extrema. ...
Article
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Radicalization is a complex process given the fact that several factors interact in it. In order to gain an overview of these factors, a case study was performed of the cell that carried out the terrorist attacks in Barcelona and Cambrils. The 3N model of radicalization was used, which proposes three factors: needs, narratives and networks. The content of the order handed down by the National High Court and the police proceedings of Mossos d’Esquadra, the police force in Catalonia, were analysed to identify possible indicators of those three factors which may have contributed to the radicalization within the 17-A cell. The results showed the existence of different indicators such as providing a life purpose, giving personal significance, exposure to extremist propaganda materials, the assimilation of values, identity fusion and having a common cause. We conclude by stressing the importance of considering the interaction of multiple factors in understanding radicalization in all its complexity.
... Joining or supporting a terrorist group is often preceded by a process of radicalization, which can be understood as a multilayered and complex psychosocial process that is influenced by a variety of factors and mechanisms (Horgan, 2009). The motives for joining terrorist organizations are as heterogeneous as the motives to leave those. ...
Article
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Individuals belonging to terrorist organizations accept and often use violence as an instrument of their strategies to achieve their goals. The present study focuses on the motivational dynamics of three contrastively selected paradigmatic cases of extremists that grew up in Germany, joined and supported terrorist organizations abroad, and later disengaged and distanced themselves from the jihadist ideology. An innovative multi-methodical approach was applied to the interviews that combines a biographical reconstruction of the lived experiences with a psychoanalytically informed interpretation of the narratives. First, the biographical trajectories were analyzed on the manifest level: How have the former terrorists experienced their own pathways? What were relevant factors for their engagement in and disengagement from terrorism? Second, to gain a deeper understanding of the unconscious motivational dynamics for involvement in terrorism, key sequences of the narrative interviews were interpreted scenically in a psychoanalytical interpretation group: How did the interviewees express their lived experiences (and why in this particular way)? What latent meanings can be extrapolated that provide deep insights into the motivational backgrounds of their decisions? Based on the results of the triangulation process, characterizing structural hypotheses about case dynamics including protective and risk factors are presented and implications for prevention and intervention approaches are given.
... I forti legami sociali (compresi quelli familiari) sono positivamente associati al disimpegno e al reinserimento sociale, come dimostrato nella ricerca criminologica (Sampson, Laub, 1993). Sia che provenga da genitori o da altri parenti stretti, questo supporto -sia materiale che emotivo -svolge un ruolo essenziale nel motivare il disimpegno da comportamenti devianti (Hong Chui, Farrall, 2002), incluso l'estremismo (Bjørgo, 2009;Horgan, 2009;Koehler, 2017;Sivenbring, 2019). ...
Article
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The first part of the article is focused on the analysis of the theoretical framework on radicalization phenomena, describing how the scientific debate has only recently considered research that have focused on the phenomena of micro-radicalization and radicalization in everyday life. The second and last part of this contribution describes how the family and parental system can become, at various levels, a promising context for preventing the phenomena of radicalization and violent radicalization (P/CVE). In the conclusion, the paper uses national and international literature for defining possible levels of educational intervention in collaboration with families.
... From a criminal justice perspective, a greater understanding of offender types may help with targeted treatment policies and risk assessments (Tracy and Kempf-Leonard, 1996). From a research perspective, it will ultimately help with our understanding of who takes part in particular violent offenses, the nature of their involvement with others and ultimately how they desist or disengage from violent activities (Horgan, 2009). Investigating whether particular variables more closely correlate with particular offender types also concerns the very nature of how we theorize about terrorist involvement and whether general models of 'radicalization' or 'pathways' into terrorism are appropriate, It also highlights whether research on pathways into violence should be tailored for particular manifestations of terrorist or violent activity. ...
Article
The study found little to distinguish these two violent offender types in their socio-demographic profiles. Their behaviors, on the other hand, differed significantly in the degree to which they had interacted with co-conspirators, their antecedent event behaviors, and the degree to which they lacked information prior to their attack. Unlike lone terrorists, mass murderers' violence was spontaneous due to unplanned physical or emotional conflicts. Lone terrorists, on the other hand, were motivated to commit violence due to ideologically based conflicts or differences with potential target victims. Regarding threat or risk, there are a number of overlapping questions that must be considered, including what type of action is most likely, under what conditions is a particular mass violence attack likely to be perpetrated, and what interventions are likely to be effective in preventing or mitigating the perpetration of violence. Lack of predetermined intent and strategy distinguishes mass murderers and lone terrorists. The lone terrorist tends to engage in more observable behaviors and planning than the mass murderer, which presents more of an opportunity to observe and assess preparatory actions and intervene to prevent the planned violence from occurring. 3 figures and approximately 100 references
... At the meso (community) and micro (individual) levels, these endeavours focus on the various factors that can set off a process of violent radicalisation: feelings of relative deprivation, experiences of discrimination or dynamics of exclusion. At these two levels, CVE addresses interventions concerned with the cognitive (deradicalisation) and/or behavioural (disengagement) dimensions of violent radicalisation (Barrelle, 2015;Horgan, 2009). ...
Article
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This article analyses strategies for preventing and combatting violent extremism in Spain since the Madrid attacks in 2004. Initially concerned with anticipating the terrorist threat by means of police, military, and legal measures, these strategies have gradually incorporated approaches and measures that address the phenomenon of radicalisation. It is argued that the emergence of the concepts of "countering violent extremism" (CVE) and "preventing violent extremism" (PVE) represents a step forward in the approach to terrorism since its target is not terrorism as such but the factors and conditions that can lead to it. In the case of Spain, CVE and PVE policies come together in the present strategy against violent radicalisation.
... 15 Leaving a radicalizing environment is not a straightforward process. 16 Many people opt out of or halt their radicalization processes, 17 but there is little detailed knowledge of how these processes are interrupted and what role early intervention plays. 18 Research on counter-radicalization tends to focus on the exit strategies of individuals who have already engaged in violent extremism, 19 often through top-down, formal, and organized efforts. ...
Article
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This study examines early intervention against individual radicalization. The data originate from interviews with young Muslims in Norway who had experienced interventions related to their own radicalization, or engaged in or witnessed interventions directed at a radicalized peer or relative. We find that informal interventions by family and friends were most prevalent in the data and played the most decisive role in interrupting radicalization, while police interventions were less common and had mixed results. Interventions by family or peers often came early in the radicalization process, were employed by trusted “insiders”, and took place as part of everyday life, thus having less detrimental consequences for radicalized individuals. We finally discuss the challenges of combining interventions by family members and friends with involvements from the police and security service.
... Våra intervjuer skiljer sig i detta avseende inte från vad som framkommit i tidigare studier (se t.ex. Dalgaard-Nielsen, 2013;Horgan, 2009). Såväl subjektiva som sociala faktorer driver individens utträdesprocess (Carlsson, 2016). ...
... La sociologie des mouvements sociaux ainsi que les travaux de psychologie menés sur le sujet (Horgan, 2009) ont souligné la complexité du désengagement. Ce dernier ne se réduit pas à une sortie du groupe, mais peut consister en un changement de rôle en son sein (d'un rôle militaire à un rôle logistique), en un déplacement stratégique (dans le cas des guérillas latino-américaines qui se sont converties en partis politiques ; voir Garibay, 2005), en une reconversion individuelle vécue sur le mode d'une continuité d'engagement (dans le travail social ou politique au sein de la vie civile). ...
... 'Deradicalization' refers to the process by which an individual is diverted from an extremist ideology, eventually rejecting an extremist ideology and moderating their beliefs. 3 'Disengagement,' on the other hand, is the process by which an individual decides to leave their associated extremist group or movement in order to reintegrate into society. 4 As Windisch and colleagues 5 distinguish the two: "deradicalization involves a change in belief; whereas, disengagement is characterized by a change in behavior." ...
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Research has overwhelmingly focused on pathways into violent extremism, but few empirically grounded analyses have examined pathways out of violent extremism. Even less is empirically known about the interactions between processes of disengagement and deradicalization from violent extremism. To address this gap, in-depth interviews were conducted with ten Canadian former right-wing extremists who were actively involved in violent racist skinhead groups, with interview questions provided by thirty Canadian law enforcement officials and ten local community activists. Participants were asked about their pathways out of violent extremism with a particular emphasis on processes of disengagement and deradicalization. Overall, our study findings highlight the multifaceted and multidimensional nature of pathways out of violent extremism as well as how radical beliefs persist beyond disengagement from violent extremism. We conclude with a discussion of the study limitations and avenues for future research.
... Radicalization is described as a "social and psychological process of incrementally experienced commitment to extremist political or religious ideology" (9). This process is unique to each individual although common recurring features can be identified. ...
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Introduction: Radicalization leading to violence is a complex social process that frequently targets young people. In this study, we examine the 17-A cell, which carried out terrorist attacks in the Spanish cities of Barcelona and Cambrils on August 17, 2017. We focus on the psychological manipulation techniques used to radicalized members of the cell. Methods: Using deductive content analysis, we examined the judicial order of the National High Court related to “Operation Ramblas” and the police proceedings of Cuerpo de Mossos d’Esquadra (CME) associated with the Barcelona and Cambrils attacks. Our goal was to determine whether psychological manipulation was used on the cell members and, if so, how frequently. Results: Our results suggest that different psychological manipulation techniques were used on the 17-A cell members to facilitate their use of ideological violence. The most frequent strategies were cognitive control (control of attention, group identification, and denigration of critical thinking), environmental control (control of information), and emotional control (authoritarian leadership). Conclusions: This study provides evidence that psychological manipulation techniques were used in the radicalization of 17-A cell members. The results are discussed in the context of previous research on the psychology of violent extremism and terrorism. We highlight the need for prevention and psychosocial interventions to steer young people away from violent extremism.
... Prisons obviously present the most controlled environments (although even these will differ significantly from well-run high-security establishments to open prisons or ones with low levels of security). 87 Numerous prison-based interventions have been documented in the last fifteen years, including notable programs in Australia, Saudi Arabia, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Israel and Nigeria. 88 Interventions may also take place following release, as with programs operated by the probation services of the Netherlands and the U.K. 89 Disengagement interventions may also take place in non-custodial settings that are relatively controlled, such as camps for refugees or internally displaced people, residential youth facilities like the Houri Center in Northeast Syria, or special centers for rehabilitation such as Somalia's Serendi Center, or locations outside an institution, such as the EXIT programs for right-wing extremists in Western and Central Europe are often conducted in community settings. ...
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Disengagement from violent extremism and reintegration into mainstream society have been the focus of significant research over the last 15 years. However, programs to facilitate or bring about violent extremist disengagement and reintegration are under-researched, largely as a result of the opacity of these programs and difficulties in access. Understanding how and why programs work or do not work is also impeded by conceptual confusion, and by four specific problems which have been discussed in the relevant literature: insufficient attention to the context and environment surrounding programmatic interventions, lack of clarity over their intended outcomes, lack of specificity in responses, and simplistic models of causation. The paper endorses previous studies recommending the use of realist evaluation to understand disengagement and reintegration interventions, and proposes a conceptual framework derived from an extensive review of the relevant literature to support planning, design and evaluation of interventions.
... Horgan (2008) vindt zich eerder terug in de brede definitie van radicalisering en omschrijft het begrip als het proces waarin men steeds meer betrokken wordt in conflictsituaties en dit mogelijks kan leiden tot gewelddadig extremisme. In zijn latere werk omschrijft hij radicalisering als "a social and psychological process of incrementally experienced commitment to extremist political or religious ideology" (Horgan, 2009). (2008) focussen eerder op de groepsdynamiek wanneer zij een definitie formuleren. ...
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In dit artikel wordt nader ingegaan op de sekteproblematiek, zoals die in de jaren negentig in Vlaanderen vorm kreeg, enerzijds, en de opkomst van Nieuw Rechts in Vlaanderen, anderzijds. We stellen ons de vraag of beide problematieken al dan niet gelijkenissen vertonen, zonder te willen suggereren dat Nieuw Rechts gereduceerd kan worden tot een sekte, en al zeker niet omgekeerd. We zetten beide fenomenen zowel historiografisch (waarom) als gedragswetenschappelijk (hoe) in elkaars spiegel omwille van heuristische redenen. In een eerste paragraaf gaan we in op de wijze waarop de 'cult scare' in Vlaanderen opgang maakte en aanleiding gaf tot de oprichting van een parlementaire onderzoekscommissie. Vandaag moeten we vaststellen dat de resultaten van deze onderzoekscommissie eerder beperkt waren, mede omwille van de weinige ervaring die voorhanden was. We maken de bedenking dat de 'deprogrammerings'-rage die ermee gepaard ging op weinig wetenschap-pelijke basis werd gestoeld. In een tweede paragraaf gaan we nader in op de criminologische onderbouw die gegeven werd aan de (de-)radicaliseringstendens die-los van bovenstaande-tot stand kwam naar aanleiding van diverse vormen van politiek geweld, onder meer vanwege extreemrechts. We stellen vast dat 'deradicaliseringsprogramma's' een opmerkelijke maatschappelijke acceptatie kenden, mede dankzij deze wetenschappelijke onderbouw. Niettemin dient vastgesteld dat deze programma's, net zoals 'deprogrammering', uitgaan van een gelijkaardige grondge-dachte, met name de ontkenning van de vrije keuze van betrokkenen. In een derde paragraaf wordt aangegeven hoe Nieuw Rechts in Vlaanderen vorm kreeg en binnen welke traditie we één en ander moeten plaatsen. Er wordt ingegaan op de internationale context, maar vooral aandacht besteed aan de plaatselijke evoluties, waarbij we kijken in welke mate 'Schild & Vrienden' als Vlaamse identitaire beweging aansluit op deze ontwikkeling. In een vierde paragraaf kijken we hoe sektarische, religieuze of politieke bewegingen radicalise-ren. We richten we ons op verklaringsmodellen en gedragswetenschappelijke mechanismen die een proces van de-pluralisatie verbinden aan de noodzaak tot actie. Door deze kruisbestuiving van verklaringsmodellen uit diverse wetenschapsdomeinen merken we diverse gelijkenissen en verschillen op die wederzijds inspirend kunnen zijn om het afglijden van sektes en Nieuw Rechts nog beter te kunnen begrijpen. In een besluit brengen we de meest markante bevindingen samen. 1 Directeur Hannah Arendt Instituut, criminoloog. 2 Prof. dr. em. UGent, criminoloog en socioloog.
... The emphasis in the disengagement approach on mapping the pathways toward and away from violence (as opposed to profiles of suspected terrorists) and on the qualities of the routes that they take (rather than abstracted root causes) has led to significant rethinking of previous work on deradicalization. 18 The disengagement approach emphasizes that "individuals often develop radicalized views after joining a violent organization, not before" and due to this it is important to view the paths to participation. 19 Disengagement looks at the diverse factors which create attachments to violent groups, and the strategies that might facilitate dissolving these attachments. ...
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Men who join militant Islamist networks often frame their participation in masculine terms, as protectors, warriors or brothers. While the role of masculinities in recruitment to jihadi groups has received increasing attention, their role in disengaging men from armed groups (and particularly men in the global south) have not. This paper explores the role of masculinities in shaping men’s paths out of jihadi networks. Based on life history research with Indonesian former militant Islamist we suggest that men’s pathways out of armed groups are defined by negotiating alternate masculinities, which reposition their gendered role in society from those associated with militancy.
... Leaving a radical group can be the result of a combination of psychological, emotional, relational, and strategic factors. 62 However, as Horgan 63 argues, disillusionment with the group often precedes disengagement from it, which was also the case with those of our informants who had been members of the Salafi-jihadist environment. However, how easy or difficult it is to leave the environment affects its ability to mobilize by retaining old members. ...
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After the fall of the Islamic State’s self-declared Caliphate in Syria and Iraq, understanding how the Salafi-jihadist environments in the West mobilize in new ways has become urgent. This study is based on unique hard-to-reach data from qualitative interviews with returned Swedish ISIS fighters, previous members of the Swedish Salafi-jihadist environment, friends and acquaintances of persons engaged in the Swedish Salafi-jihadist environment, and a former Swedish jihadist recruiter. It explores post-Caliphate mobilization in terms of recruiting new members, keeping old members, and sustaining support from other radicals who are not active members of the Salafi-jihadist environment. Five distinct themes emerged from the interviews that reflect changing “push” and “pull” factors, which in different ways make mobilization in the post-Caliphate period challenging: competition from criminal gangs, increasing fuzziness of the environment, limited ability of external events to mobilize both new and old members, variation in the ease of leaving the Salafi-jihadist environment, and lack of new heroic mobilization narratives. The study concludes that, despite continuing problems in so-called radicalization hubs in Sweden, IS and other jihadist groups now have difficulty mobilizing both old and new members. In particular, changes in pull factors suggest that the current mobilization dynamics point to an environment that is facing challenges.
... The codebook contained 197 questions, covering; early life experiences, mental health problems, recruitment, roles and experiences whilst engaged, disengagement, post-disengagement experiences, and stressors. These questions were derived from previous codebooks used for open source data collection (Gill, Horgan, & Deckert, 2014), autobiographical data collection (Altier et al., 2012), and literature on terrorist engagement and disengagement (Altier et al., 2017;Borum, 2010;Gill & Corner, 2017;Horgan, 2009aHorgan, , 2009bReinares, 2011;Silke, 2003;Taylor & Horgan, 2006). ...
Article
Within studies critically examining terrorist behaviour, the examination of mental health has largely focused on the relationship with the movement towards terrorist involvement. The impact of engagement in terrorism upon mental health has rarely been studied. However, recent research has shown that there is an association between terrorist engagement and the occurrence of mental health problems across the spectrum of terrorist involvement. This work therefore expands on previous research, and disaggregates three discrete stages of terrorist involvement; pre-engagement, engagement, and disengagement, to critically examine the role of psychological resilience on mental health. To determine whether psychological resilience protects against the negative psychological repercussions of terrorist involvement, we undertake cluster analyses. Results indicate that there is a subset of actors who demonstrate psychological resilience, and appear to maintain their mental health despite their experiences during involvement in terrorism.
... Any group, organization, or movement offers diverse roles, some more central to a public identity (and more involved in constructing it) than others. In a study of extremist movements, Horgan (2009) refers to role migration as recruits first join, pursue a kind of apprenticeship, sometimes become central members, but also-after defeat, disagreement, or disillusionment-find roles outside the group. ...
Article
This chapter examines the interplay of collective identities and emotions in a variety of processes involving participation: avoiding it, engaging others, continuing and making strategic decisions, and disengaging from it. The term “collective identity” refers to how individuals feel and think about groups. Collective identities are emotional as much as they are cognitive: they involve feelings about the ingroups and outgroups, but also shape many other emotions that people experience. Group pride, hate for opponents, compassion for others, yearning for our strategic objectives, shock at threats to our groups: these are abiding emotions that are symbolically elaborated and embodied in arguments, ideologies, and books as part of even the most “rational” of thinking–feeling processes. A full range of emotions is at play in political action, both directed at groups and shaped by group identities, as individuals move in and out of political participation.
... Menurut John Horgan deradikalisasi bagian dari proses mengubah paham radikal, akan tetapi yang terjadi sebaliknya yakni memicu radikalisme itu sendiri. Di sini yang dibutuhkan bukan mengubah pemikiran radikal, melainkan harus adanya hidup yang mandiri misal akses ekonomi dimudahkan dan menghindari perbuatan kekerasan (Horgan, 2009 (Tribunnews.com, 2017). ...
Article
A key challenge within the (violent) extremism research field is building a comprehensive understanding of the process toward (violent) extremism. The lack of overarching models and the fact that explanatory models of (violent) extremism are often isolated/stand-alone, fuels disagreement on how to understand the phenomenon. The goal of this article is to build such an integrated theoretical model that addresses two knowledge gaps within the existing literature: ‘why’ and ‘how’ does an individual become sympathetic to and/or involved in (violent) extremism? Based on a scoping review of 1856 records, we selected ten models of (violent) extremism. These models were then analysed using the ‘theory knitting approach’, searching to identify the overlapping and non-overlapping aspects between the different models. By incorporating the common analysed features and unique contributions of the models, we developed an integrated theoretical model of (violent) extremism as a non-linear and dynamic process model combining an insider and outsider perspective on (violent) extremism.
Article
This article examines what repentance might mean on the part of conscientious violent extremists, who commit very serious violent crimes, intending their acts to advance a political or ideological cause and firmly believing their acts to be morally permitted or required. The article looks at remorse, repudiation of one’s conduct, repudiating aspects of the self, and resolving to make amends. The article presents a modest conception of what should be accepted as repentance in such contexts. Repentance can come in degrees, and it should usually be enough that the extremist is genuinely remorseful and repudiates their violent actions against innocent people, even if it would be better in many cases if they also abandoned extremist thinking and dropped their commitment to their ultimate cause.
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This chapter sets out the field of terrorism studies and reviews the main issues and research directions that characterise the field today. The history of the discipline is summarised and terrorism and its ‘near neighbour’ hate crime are defined and compared before turning to the developments that have dominated the research agenda over the last ten years.
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The dynamic nature of youth extremism in Northern Nigeria has been attributed to the low level of education in the region. Research indicates the need for the development of clinical models to address radicalisation and de-radicalisation. Poverty, lack of education, isolation, exclusion, and religion are the key variables that intersect when addressing social issues that contribute to the spread of ideologies and the recruitment of youth into extremist groups. The World Bank Group (WBG) is increasingly being called upon to address the development dimensions of violent extremism by client governments and the international community. The World Bank has shied away from designing a standalone programme to counter violent extremist from an education perspective. The risk of susceptibility to extremist ideology is determined by a multiplicity of factors, the most important being education. In Northern Nigeria education has been compromised and has left the youth vulnerable to armed groups such as Boko Haram. Formal and Qeducation contributes to a climate of increased care and respect for basic human rights and peace. This paper focus on the role of education in the prevention of violent extremism (VE) and discusses the international policy framework on the significance of formal education as a tool for countering violent extremism (CVE) and contributing to peacebuilding in Nigeria. While the study is non-empirical, extensive literature was consulted across the disciplines to address the critical issues in the study. However, the relationship between the identified constructs' conceptual framework was subjected to intensive discourse using the ecosystem theory of Urie Bronfenbrenner. The conclusion drawn is an early warning on the need for Stanley Ehiane 170 a clinical response model that promotes the acquisition of formal and quality of education for a successful soft approach to counter violent extremism and radicalisation terrorism mechanisms.
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Recently, former extremists and offenders have begun providing online initiatives in addition to their offline enterprises (e.g., in-school talks, TV productions, autobiographies). They often present these initiatives as designed to prevent and counter violent extremism and crime. Strikingly, while formers’ online narratives are increasing and usually receive positive coverage, research on them has been limited. This study applied a structure analysis to systematically explore a former right-wing extremist’s YouTube channel as a case study. The analysis was based on the formal channel criteria and 421 videos published between May 2017 and May 2020. This is a full survey during this period. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study to investigate this phenomenon. Examining the YouTube channel provides valuable evidence for: (1) a focus on detailed narratives and visualizations from the extremist and criminal past, (2) using YouTube as a business model, and (3) distributing content and behavior that is inappropriate for children and youths (e.g., depicting violence, alcohol consumption, and [e-]cigarette use). The results indicate that such online initiatives’ content and other relevant aspects (e.g., content creators’ selfpresentation) require more critical attention and reflection before they, for example, are promoted as suitable tools for young people.
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One of the main threats to the security of the European Union countries is the activity of radical Muslim circles, sympathizing with or inspired by Al Qaeda and the so-called "Islamic State". The reasons for this state should be sought in the deepening social and economic divisions and inequalities in the European Union. These factors, in many cases, initiate the process of religious radicalization, leading to fundamentalism and extremism, and in extreme cases, even to violence and terrorism. The aim of this paper is to study the impact of the phenomenon of religiously inspired terrorism on the level of security in European Union countries. Due to the interdisciplinary nature of the topic, a mixed research method was used during research, consisting of a desk review of primary sources, qualitative content analysis, comparative method and extrapolation method. The original contribution of this work is the determination of the characteristics of the contemporary jihadist terrorism threat and presenting possible directions of the evolution of terrorist threats in European Union countries, which seems to be particularly important in the context of creating effective long-term EU counter-terrorism policy.
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Violent extremism is an ambiguous and politically loaded concept, and – at the national level – the parameters used to define it are usually framed by the state, powerful ruling elites, and members of the international community, either directly or indirectly through donor-funded projects. Although different types of violent extremism and extremist movements exist in Kenya, donors and the state often focus on religiously-inspired groups such as Al-Shabaab, the Islamic State, Al-Qaeda, and affiliated networks such as the Al-Muhajiroun, Al-Hijra, and Jaysh Al-Ayman. However, at a community level, participants in our body map workshops highlighted gang violence, police brutality, ethnically motivated violence, marginalisation, discrimination, and gender-based violence as priorities in defining violent extremism. We conclude that constructions of violent extremism at the local level are shaped by lived experiences of everyday insecurities influenced by gender, ethnicity, social status, location, and interactions with the state. To effectively address violent extremism in Kenya and beyond, its definition needs to be contextualised in ways that take into consideration local perspectives and everyday experiences of violence and insecurity.
Chapter
This chapter describes ten major reasons as to why children become terrorists: (1) state failure, (2) cultural arena, (3) social media influences, (4) total institution, (5) kinship factors, (6) identity crises and psychological factors, (7) susceptibility and naïveté, (8) kidnapping or forced recruitment, (9) easy prey for suicide missions, and (10) gender-related and sexual reasons. This chapter is important because it validates the complexity of the problem; terrorist actors do not operate in a vacuum. Some reasons are more prevalent or influential than others, depending on the region or circumstances. Children can also join terrorist movements for more than one reason; they can be exposed to the same hazard in various ways and, therefore, encounter different problems and opportunities during their journeys.KeywordsCultureGenderIdentityIndoctrinationKidnappingKinshipRecruitmentSocial mediaState failureTotal institution
Chapter
This chapter is a detailed thematic analysis of 260 verbal and written statements made by the 24 subjects in this study to interpret their child terrorist and peace activist experiences (through their narratives available in the public domain). Thematic analysis identifies, examines, and interprets patterns of meaning (“themes”) within data. It is well suited to study time and change in a person’s life. Three research questions were formulated to understand the commonalties and differences in the way the five groups infused their experiences of child terrorism with meanings and how they communicated them to the world. Overall, this thematic analysis followed six steps: (1) familiarization with the data, (2) creation of codes, (3) theme search, (4) theme definition, (5) data analysis, and (6) conclusions.
Chapter
This chapter discusses the methodological challenges and possibilities associated with trying to uncover the changing motivations and experiences of jihadists through interviews. It argues that contacting potential interviewees, conducting the interviews, and analyzing the data are uniquely challenging when conducting research on jihadists, especially active ones. Interviewing as a method usually gives the researcher access to rich data, but the price of getting access can be a sense of disorder, for example, when the roles of the researcher and interviewee are reversed. Unlike in many other interview situations, the researcher is not in a position of power. Under these circumstances, the ideal of having minimal contact with the subjects of the interview study may have to be replaced with an approach that often borders on ethnographic research. Such interviews are probably the best method for gaining access to the processes of change or jihadiship.
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This chapter analyzes how fighting for IS changed jihadists, as socialization to apocalyptic ideas could override, for example, an initial desire to help local Muslims in Syria and thus altered the nature of jihad. What previous studies have often neglected is that the radicalization process does not always end when an individual joins a jihadist group. Moreover, while most previous research has argued that radical ideas lead to radical behavior, this chapter reverses the causal path and uses cognitive dissonance theory to explain how radical behavior also can give rise to radical ideas, which may lead to a self-reinforcing circle or radicalization.
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This chapter focuses on motivations for jihad. The attractiveness of foreign fighting is generally based on framing a distant conflict as threatening to a transnational identity group. However, it is not always clear what draws potential recruits to such frames. This chapter offers such a causal mechanism with the help of cognitive dissonance theory. Moreover, it uses cognitive dissonance theory to examine how individual jihadists’ jihadiship is characterized by change—from the early stages of radicalization to fighting as part of a jihadist group and finally leaving jihad. While some scholars have emphasized how ideas contribute to behavioral radicalization, a focus on cognitive dissonance and how it interacts with the impact of the social setting and ideas such as fard al- ‘ayn (individual duty) refines our understanding of the role of ideas. The question is not whether ideas matter, but how and when they matter.
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Social movement approaches have explored how protest movements transition into terrorist organizations. However, there has been little academic work examining potential causal mechanisms that drive the movement of individuals from nonviolent organizations to violent ones. This study uses priming theory to explain how nonviolent organizations can function as inadvertent gateways that facilitate the movement of individuals into violent organizations. Rather than elaborating on social contacts between nonviolent and violent organizations, priming shifts the analytical focus to socialization processes inside gateway organizations and how they can be exploited by violent organizations through framing. The study also analyzes priming in gateway organizations as a gendered process. Although the examples provided are drawn from the Islamist context, the priming process applies to all religious, far-left, far-right, and nationalist/separatist groups.
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This article assesses the strengths, weaknesses, and gaps in the discipline of counterterrorism studies since al-Qaeda’s catastrophic attacks against the United States on 9/11 along 10 dimensions: defining terrorism, group and lone actor typologies, causes of terrorism, terrorist psychologies, radicalization and recruitment, organizational dynamics, modus operandi, incident chronology databases, forecasting and predicting terrorism, and countering terrorism.
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The involvement of former extremists in preventing and countering violent extremism has attracted many advocates. Interventions in school settings by or with former extremists have been commonplace for a long time, and in some countries even for decades, which is reason enough to focus on the current research state. We did this through a synoptic examination of the empirical literature on the subject. Hence, we took an in-depth look at four experimental studies with robust samples. These studies investigated projects from Ireland, the Basque Country, Denmark, and Germany. The findings demonstrated two main points: (1) the empirical evidence showed a contrast to the anecdotal evidence, which mostly provided a positive assessment of former extremists in school settings, and (2) thus far, students’ perspectives on these initiatives have not been considered in a sufficiently differentiated way.
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The radicalisation of young immigrants in Europe is a phenomenon of scientific and political relevance. The study aimed to analyse the degree of consensus on the differential influence on the radicalisation process of various factors (attitudinal, contextual, historical and protective), primarily included in the VERA-2, related to multiple socio-demographic categories and the processes of radicalisation in opinion and action. Applying a Delphi analysis methodology, the results point to the difficulty of reaching a consensus on the differential influence of the factors that affect the radicalisation of young migrants according to the categories examined. This consensus is appropriate concerning the distinction between radicalisation in action and radicalisation in opinion, showing the multiplicity of influential factors, especially in the case of radicalisation in opinion. The importance of protective, contextual, and attitudinal factors is evident for this type of radicalisation, while for radicalisation in action, a high consensus is reached on historical and contextual factors. Interventions aimed at the attitudinal sphere, rejection and prevention of violence, active policies of social inclusion, and spaces for intercultural dialogue and community participation are proposed as lines of work to prevent the radicalisation of young immigrants.
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It is with great pride that COE-DAT presents volume 2 of “Good Practices in Countering Terrorism (GP CT Vol.2).” This project launched in 2020 to address current issues and research in the field of counterterrorism. Within this scope, the GP CT Vol.2 is the latest initiative aimed at practical solutions to counter-terrorism policy problems with innovative best practices proven in the field. This project, in cooperation with TOBB University of Economics and Technology, was published by terrorism experts, academics, and practitioners. The aim of this project is to provide critical thinking in the field of CT, an inherently sensitive subject, and to create an interactive platform of expertise on effective methods, strategies, national responses and alternative models. As stated in NATO 2030 document, Allies agreed to step up NATO efforts to build the capacity of alliance partners in areas like CT. Each of NATO’s member stability is significantly vital for alliance security. Previous experiences reveal that prevention is always a better option when we compare with intervention. Recent conflicts in Ukraine with Russia once again emphasized the emergency of this issue. In this context, COE-DAT organized a series of workshops, which increased information sharing and demonstrated progressive research on current issues in the fight against terrorism, including Terrorism Experts Conference 2021. This project, which emerged because of this hard work, aimed to develop and synchronize CT policies at the national level, but also to provide for future studies and research. Without a doubt, these practices will not work in all environments, as terrorism varies by region and circumstances. However, COE-DAT submits that these can be used as an inspiration in the development of effective counter-terrorism policies and efforts. COE-DAT believes that this book will be an inspiration and lead up to more “good practices” combining the conceptual and operational aspects of counter-terrorism in the coming years. COE-DAT is committed that this series will continue to be updated in future endeavors
Chapter
This chapter addresses fundamentalism by placing it within international relations broadly and the interactive strategic environment more narrowly. By comparing the role played by fundamentalism within two ethno-nationalist groups and the development of their campaigns, this chapter challenges some of the long running assumptions around the topic of fundamentalism, including the role of religion and the simplistic answers which have been offered on the topic in the past. We present fundamentalism as a strategic choice which brings positive and negative consequences to those who embrace it. Arguing that adopting and maintaining, or eventually abandoning, a fundamentalist position is a strategic choice, we reposition the topic of fundamentalism away from a simplistic label of non-state actors and towards a more nuanced position within the wider strategic environment.
Article
While the involvement in terrorist organizations and social movements has generated a plethora of literature, little work exists on the exit from these two types of collectives. In order to grasp the plurality of factors involved in these processes, we based ourselves on an empirical sociological survey of 64 activists of the Partiya Karkerên Kurdistan (PKK). This party experienced a major wave of departures from the guerrilla movement in the early 2000s. The micro-sociological study of desistance trajectories make it possible to develop a relevant explanatory model of disengagement combining attention to diachronicity, the identification of micro-level turning points and meso-level windows of opportunity. After recalling the conditions under which the survey was carried out, we will show how desistance brings into play a certain relationship to time, key moments which, in the case of the PKK, concern not so much state repression as the internal dysfunctions of the party, as well as the “possibilities” that open up for the actors, either during moments of the party restructuraction or in civilian life.
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Se analiza el concepto de resocialización manejado por la jurisprudencia en el marco del mandato constitucional del artículo 25.2, descubriendo un doble discurso, que se conforma con la previsión de mecanismos destinados a evitar la desocialización cuando se trata de examinar la legitimidad de una ley o de una decisión administrativa, pero exige una asunción de la ilicitud y la dañosidad del hecho, e incluso a veces el arrepentimiento u otros cambios de actitud para afirmar la resocialización cuando se trata de examinar el progreso de un recluso para decidir su evolución penitenciaria o la conveniencia de algún beneficio. Se confronta esta jurisprudencia con la teoría de la pena de la que se parte para hacer algunas críticas, observaciones y recomendaciones.
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In this paper I explore and exemplify the processes through which youngsters become committed insiders of countercultural youth groups and how under-aged (child) soldiers go through a similar process of transformation to become members of what I will call a ‘community of military terror’. Finally, I discuss the extent to which the experience of more extreme counter-cultural groups and communities can be accommodated into the ‘community of practice’ concept (Lave, 1988; Wenger, 1998), and, when not possible, the modifications needed to achieve accommodation.
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The Red Army Faction (RAF) has changed the structure of its organisation several times. This happened usually after setbacks in its operations which were regarded by sympathisers and supporters as defeats. Regroupings in the hierarchy were made in the hope to get new energies for the armed struggle. In the last year difficulties in communications developed, particularly between the command level and the prisoners. The attempt to establish a ‘West European Guerrilla’ failed.At the beginning of the 1980s the RAF worked out its ‘MIC‐streategy’ which was aimed at the so‐called ‘Military‐Industrial‐Complex’. Meanwhile this conception is replaced by another target. The enemy of the terrorists now is the ‘European Superpower’. By creating this new hostile figure the RAF is renewing its attempt to form a ‘European Front of the Guerrilla’. But the call for new allies remained without resonance until today.
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This article is based on the premise that terrorist organizations are a special class of political interest groups. What separates terrorist organizations from most interest groups is that terrorists use violence instead of lobbying to try to achieve their goals. Terrorist organizations will face the same kinds of organizational problems as other interest groups, i.e., recruitment of members, competing groups, political cohesion, leadership contests, etc. This paper focuses on how these organizational processes inside the terrorist organizations affect the outcome of bargaining between authorities and terrorist organizations. The effects of the internal organizational situation of the terrorist group will be manifest most clearly in the likelihood of achieving a peaceful resolution of a terrorist event and in the amount of the risk premium required to achieve the peaceful resolution.
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The Ulster Defence Association is the largest of the paramilitary organisations in Northern Ireland, yet it has received scant attention in the literature on terrorism. As a paramilitary organisation, it appeared to be in terminal decline in the late 1980s, but it has since then re‐established itself as a significant security threat in Northern Ireland. This article describes in the form of a case study some of the factors that have led to the resurgence of the organisation since 1989. In particular, it describes how a series of events, culminating with the Stevens Inquiry of 1989–90, effectively re‐established the organisation and renewed its deadly capacity for terrorism.1
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The Manhattan trial of four men linked to Osama bin Laden was the result of the largest overseas investigation ever mounted by the U.S. government. The trial generated thousands of pages of documents and the testimony of dozens of witnesses with some knowledge of bin Laden's group. What was learned from the trial is that bin Laden's organization experienced severe cash flow problems in the mid-1990s; that the U.S. government has had some real successes in finding informants within bin Laden's organization; that bin Laden has taken steps to acquire weapons of mass destruction; that the training of bin Laden's followers in his camps in Afghanistan is quite rigorous, featuring tuition on a wide range of weapons and explosives and terrorism techniques; and that bin Laden's group operates transnationally, its membership drawn from four continents. Finally, the trial underlines the strengths and limits of the law enforcement approach to bin Laden.
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The article looks at Red Brigades (BR) recruitment in the early 1970s via the infiltration and ‘lubrication’ of far left groups based in the factories of Northern Italy. The author describes the passage from extremism to terrorism and the criteria imposed by the BR for entry. Initial imitation of the Latin American guerrilla model was gradually replaced by a series of organizational and disciplinary structures based on first‐hand experience. The strict regulations laid down by the BR were generally adhered to and were a vital factor for survival, although the weakest link was in personal relations. The restrictions of clandestinity created personal and political crises which deepened after 1978, when the battle between state and terrorists intensified. The greater commitment required of members made dissent and exit correspondingly more traumatic. In the end, attempts to preserve unity by increasing discipline proved to be counterproductive.
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This commentary examines the issue of global jihadist recidivism and identifies it as a potential long-term international counterterrorism concern. Although there are no comprehensive and accurate statistics on global jihadist recidivism, there is sufficient anecdotal evidence that suggests that the tendency for released imprisoned global jihadist terrorists is to return to terrorist activity. It is important to understand that arresting, indicting, and sentencing a captured global jihadist terrorist is not the end of the counterterrorism skirmish. In fact, the next stages of incarceration and reformation are more crucial to the endgame. The problem of global jihadist recidivism is at the core a manpower issue. Prisons have always been an important front for all types of terrorist groups. Recidivism or the failure of prison rehabilitation programs is simply one component of this front. Terrorist groups do not want their imprisoned members to reform and resign from the organization. Further research needs to be conducted on the recidivism rate for terrorists and whether religious terrorists would have a higher rate than secular ones. The academic, think tank, and U.S. government communities need to examine this issue to determine if it is a long-term international counterterrorism problem. The author believes it will be.
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Based on 48 fairly detailed personal case histories, and more limited data on 447 other individuals, this article describes significant patterns in the lives of members of the Basque insurgent organization Euzkadi ta Askatasuna (ETA). The article discusses the age and sex of ETA members, the socioeconomic background of the members and their families, and their ethnic and linguistic characteristics. The article also describes life in ETA, the radicalization of Basque youth, how new members are recruited into the organization, how they live and what they do as members, how ETA members relate to family, friends and loved ones, and how they terminate their relationship to the organization. The study finds ETA members to be not the alienated and pathologically distressed individuals who join other insurgent organizations, but rather they are psychologically healthy persons for the most part, strongly supported by their families and their ethnic community.
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Criminological theorists and criminal justice policy makers place a great deal of importance on the idea of desistance. In general terms, criminal desistance refers to a cessation of offending activity among those who have offended in the past. Some significant challenges await those who would estimate the relative size of the desisting population or attempt to identify factors that predict membership in that population. In this paper, we consider several different analytic frameworks that represent an array of plausible definitions. We then illustrate some of our ideas with an empirical example from the 1958 Philadelphia Birth Cohort Study.
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Theoretical debates and empirical tests on the explanation of stability and change in offending over time have been ongoing for over a decade pitting Gottfredson and Hirschi's (1990) criminal propensity model against Sampson and Laub's (1993) life-course model of informal social control. In 2001, Wright and his colleagues found evidence of a moderating relationship between criminal propensity, operationalized as self-control, and prosocial ties on crime, a relationship they term life-course interdependence. The current study extends their research by focusing on this moderating relationship and the developmental process of desistance from crime among serious juvenile delinquents. Contrary to the life-course interdependence hypothesis, the results indicate that whereas self-control and social bonds are strongly related to desistance from crime, there is no evidence of a moderating relationship between these two factors on desistance among this sample. The implications of this research for life-course theories of crime, future research, and policies regarding desistance are discussed.
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Most searchers performing unit root tests on terrorism series reject the null hypothesis of unit roots (I(1)) and conclude that terrorism is stationary (I(0)). In this paper we analyze ETA activity in Spain during the last 30 years by means of examining its degree of dependence across time, using fractional integration or I(d) techniques. The results show that the activity of ETA is persistent to some extent, with an order of integration of about 0.40, implying stationarity, but also long memory behavior. We argue that this strong degree of dependence between the observations might be explained by the historical background underlying the political conflict in the area. In addition, the results indicate that the most significant factors contributing to a reduction of violence are those related to political pacts among the political parties in the Basque region. In order to put an end to ETA's violence, these accords should involve both nationalist and non-nationalist groups.
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Research on crime-related developmental trajectories is reviewed with outcomes revealing the existence of several trajectories rather than a single general pattern. Each trajectory is marked by transitions that define the pattern's path and direction over time. These anticipated transitions differ from the unanticipated transitions known to precipitate crime deceleration and desistance. Borrowing principles from nonlinear dynamical systems theory--sensitive dependence on initial conditions, chaotic attractors, and self-organization in particular--this article offers a model of crime deceleration and desistance in which belief systems congruent with crime are altered in phases--initiation, transition, maintenance--to create belief systems incongruent with crime. The practical implications of this model are discussed and suggestions for future research are outlined.