Relaciones Internacionales – Comunicación Internacional

What motivates Islamist terrorists in the West

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Iraq versus lack of integration: understanding the motivations of contemporary Islamist terrorists in Western countries


Despite being nearly 10 years into the ‘Global War on Terror’ there is still confusion as to what motivates the perpetrators of terrorist attacks, particularly those in the West. This article gives an overview of ‘home-grown’ jihadi activities in the West and examines the range of driving forces cited by and attributed to them. It aims to clarify the relative contributions of local inequalities, global political events such as the occupation of Iraq, religious beliefs and social processes as motivating factors. Implications for theories of terrorism and for counter-terrorism strategies are discussed.

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