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Who are the European Jihadists?

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Radicalisaiton and terrorism are key challenges which are the forefront of the security agenda across the globe. A similarly important, related problem is the intersection between these phenomena and other crimes. The nature and type of such links need to be well mapped out and understood to facilitate the development of working counteraction strategies. The current report presents emergent findings of an in-depth study which aims to shed more light on the crime-terror nexus across eleven European Union countries. European jihadists tend to be poorly educated, young men without stable career prospects. Jihadists are rarely lone-wolf actors, being connected to friendship or family circles sympathetic to the ideology or an online community. The existence of crime-terror nexus is supported by the data, which further indicates that the criminal background of jihadists is more often than previously thought connected to serious rather than petty offences.

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