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  • Author: Spiros Bamiatzis
  • Publication Date: 06-2017
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Hellenic Foundation for European and Foreign Policy (ELIAMEP)
  • Abstract: Europe, and most importantly, Western Europe has become a fertile ground for ISIS recruits. Western Muslim Europeans have been making the trip to Syria and Iraq, filling in the ranks of ISIS, and back. Western intelligence agencies are faced with multiple challenges: what is the level of threat those war hardened returned fighters represent to public safety? Can these returned jihadists become de- radicalized and re-enter the society, without killing anybody that does not agree with their ideology? The purpose of this study is to present to counter-terrorism policy makers, the reasons Western European Muslims born and converted become radicalized, by presenting the psychological factors that contribute to the radicalization of the Western European Youth, towards jihadism. Furthermore, by using the Freudian splitting of the Id, the Ego, and the Superego, it examines how Muslim extremists using tenants of the Muslim faith are influencing the psychic of the youth toward radicalization, as the only true expression of the Muslim faith. This study also examines, how fundamentalism impacts the minds of “believers” and castigates everybody else that is considered a “non-believer”, while influencing the path of a young mind towards his or her becoming the defender of the Ummah, or the Muslim community at large. Finally, what lessons security agencies can learn and apply towards, before a youth becomes radicalized and then jihadist and makes the trip to ISIS fold, and after the return of the well grown jihadist by now, back to European society.
  • Topic: Terrorism, Violent Extremism
  • Political Geography: Europe