Homegrown Jihadist Terrorists in the U.S.

[Washington Times] Daveed Gartenstein-Ross - Why do some Americans decide to take up arms against the society where they were born and raised? In an attempt to better understand the radicalization process, Laura Grossman and I released a study in April, "Homegrown Terrorists in the U.S. and UK: An Empirical Examination of the Radicalization Process," that explores external manifestations of radicalization of 117 homegrown "jihadist" terrorists. Specific manifestations include adopting a legalistic interpretation of Islam, coming to trust only select and ideologically rigid religious authorities, perceiving Islam and the West as irreconcilably opposed, manifesting a low tolerance for perceived theological deviance, and attempting to impose one's religious beliefs on others. The prevalence of these factors suggests the importance of religio-political ideology as individuals become radicalized (an ideology that cannot be described as Islam itself, but rather a rigid and non-mainstream understanding of that faith). About 20% had a spiritual mentor, a more experienced Muslim who gave instruction and direction during the radicalization process.

2009-06-11 06:00:00

Full Article


Visit the Daily Alert Archive