Radicalisation and Jihad

International affairs / Counterterrorism

Radicalisation and Jihad


The bombings in Madrid and the murder of filmmaker Theo van Gogh in Amsterdam last year put radical Islam at the top of political agendas everywhere. What made these violent acts so shocking for so many people was that they were not committed by Muslim fighters from some distant country, but by – seemingly – integrated and often well-educated young Western Muslims and converts. The attraction of radical Islam is cause for concern, not only for its threat of violence, but also because it puts pressure on the different population groups. A polarised climate is threatening to emerge in which cultural and religious difference seem insurmountable. Various authors in this themed issue about radicalisation and Jihad discuss the uprooted feeling of groups of Muslim youngsters. Alienation, feelings of discomfort and identity problems are given as cause or catalyst of Islamic radicalisation. In addition, there is attention for the question of which powers and mechanisms are involved in channelling these feelings into politically-religiously inspired violence, or the expression of sympathy for such actions. What is the organisational structure of a terrorist movement, what is the role of the Internet, how does recruitment take place, what is the relevance of sympathisers and how do terrorists finance their actions? These and other questions are dealt with in great detail.



Publication data

Place of publication:
The Hague
Year of publication:
Justitiële verkenningen 2005/02