When Terrorist Disengagement Processes Are Consistent with Previous Violent Radicalization: Two Case Studies
Although terrorist disengagement is a dynamic process, this study proposes the likelihood of a continuity in the prevailing factors influencing exit from terrorism and the prevailing dimensions which initially influenced violent radicalization. Through the analysis of two contrasting cases featuring third-generation Muslims formerly involved in jihadist activities in Spain, we assess a connection between the prevailing push and pull factors which sparked individuals to cease their terrorist engagement and the predominant dimensions that earlier prompted the radicalization which led them to terrorist involvement. Drawing from in-depth interviews with the two former jihadists, Hassan and Omar, conducted while they were serving prison sentences for terrorism offences, we suggest that the significance of ideology and network in, respectively, their journeys from Islamic fundamentalism towards jihadism is similarly reflected in their accounts of ending jihadist involvement, even in the presence of secondary factors that also play a role in such a complex process.
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