Radicalisation and terrorism

Crime and delinquency / Terrorist group

Radicalisation and terrorism

(full text only available in Dutch)


The ongoing violent conflicts in Syria and Irak are a permanent threat for the security of European citizen, as the recent terrorist attacks by Islamic State (IS) in Brussels and Paris show. Western youngsters recruted by IS and returning from Syria and Irak to Europe are considered dangerous because of their radical jihadist convictions and the military skills they acquired. This special issue of Justitiële verkenningen on Radicalisation and terrorism explores the attractiveness of IS to (islamic) European yougsters and the apocalyptic nature of IS ideology. Another question dealt with in this issue is which events and processes are known to trigger radicalization in individuals. And what about protective factors? A study of the various Turkish communities in The Netherlands shows that a solid community can give indivuals a strong sense of belonging and as such may provide protection against youngsters radicalizing. Another contribution focuses on how jihadist networks operate and how these have changed through time. And with a growing number of jihadist fighters coming back to their home countries and being arrested, the question arises how to deal with jihadist prisoners. Which factors contribute to a succesfull reintegration in society and which do not? The author of the final article argues that the various forms of radicalisation (school shooter as well as jihadist fighter) should be analysed as phenomena linked to more general underlying social developments. The concept of the ‘radical loser’, introduced by the German poet/author/philosopher Hans Magnus Enzensberger, might be helpful to come to a more profound understanding of radicalisation in current society. Jihadist extremism could be seen as a power uniting these radical losers in a collective.

Publication data

Place of publication:
The Hague
Boom juridisch
Year of publication:
Justitiële verkenningen 2016/02