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Deradicalization of Jihadi foreign fighters

Authored by: Arie Perliger

Routledge Handbook of Deradicalisation and Disengagement

Print publication date:  March  2020
Online publication date:  February  2020

Print ISBN: 9781138229969
eBook ISBN: 9781315387420
Adobe ISBN:


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The growing interest among academics and intelligence security agencies about the phenomenon of Jihadi foreign fighters generated a significant literature which sought to identify the dynamics that lead individuals to abandon their home and travel to countries they have never before visited in order to risk their lives in the name of an ideology that they knew little about before their radicalization (Hegghammer 2010; Holman 2015; Malet, Foreign Fighter Mobilization and Persistence in a Global Context 2015; Mustapha 2013; Nilsson 2015; Stenersen 2011). These efforts indeed helped to decipher some aspects of the radicalization process of foreign fighters, and their socialization into the Jihadi lifestyle. However, they interestingly paid somewhat less attention to the main reason behind the initial interest in foreign fighters, which is the threat they represent upon their decision to leave their organization or areas of conflict, and return to their home country, and how we can facilitate policies that will ensure their rehabilitation and re-integration into society (Gurski 2016).

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