National Security | Military Ethics | Global Far-Right Extremism | Counter-Terrorism | Antisemitism

Muslim Converts Who Turn to Global Jihad: Radicalization Characteristics and Countermeasures

Over the past three decades, along with the expansion of the phenomenon of global jihad, we have witnessed a growing trend of converts to Islam integrating into global jihad organizations. Some of these converts constitute an important element in the terrorist infrastructure, globally, and particularly in the West. Some are recruited as foreign fighters into the ranks of the Islamic State or other Islamic extremist organizations. Global jihad organizations have identified the potential of new converts (knowledge of the local culture, the difficulty in tracking them faced by intelligence organizations), and they are investing efforts in every possible arena (physical and digital) to recruit them for terrorist activity. The converts, for their part, are more vulnerable to recruitment for terrorist purposes. The aim of the article is to illuminate the existing phenomenon of radicalization among new converts to Islam and expand the current knowledge base with regard to the variables that affect the growth of this phenomenon and the background and preconditions for such growth. Moreover, this article will attempt to use the above in order to design and develop effective tools for early warning and curbing this phenomenon.

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