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het pad van terrorisme: heen en terug

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Christophe Busch

on 29 March 2018

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Transcript of het pad van terrorisme: heen en terug

From the terrorists' point of view
What they experience and why they come to destroy
Paris, Brussel, Nice, Berlijn, Liverpool, London, ...
# Paris is burning
# France is burning
# Paris explosions
“All my life, I have seen the blood of Muslims flow”

“I pray that Allah will break the backs of those who oppose him, his soldiers and his admirers, and that he will exterminate them.”
January 2014
=> “ernstige onvrede met de bestaande maatschappelijke constellatie, een beeld van mensen en instellingen die hier voor verantwoordelijk zijn, een idee of utopie hoe het anders zou kunnen en een concept van actoren die dat kunnen bewerkstelligen.”
Buijs FJ & Demant F; Extremisme en radicalisering. In : Muller ER, Rosenthal U & de Wijk R; Terrorisme: studies over terrorisme en terrorismebestrijding, (Kluwer: Deventer, 2008), p. 171-173.

omvat immers “uiteenlopende opvattingen en gedragingen die gekenmerkt worden door de afwijzing van de democratische constitutionele staat, democratische procedures en democratische waarden”
Buijs FJ & Demant F; Extremisme en radicalisering. In : Muller ER, Rosenthal U & de Wijk R; Terrorisme: studies over terrorisme en terrorismebestrijding, (Kluwer: Deventer, 2008), p. 171-173.

the instrumental use of violence by people who identify themselves as members of a group – whether this group is transitory or has a more permanent identity – against another group or set of individuals, in order to achieve political, economic or social objectives.
collective violence
Wars, terrorism and other violent political conflicts that occur within or between states.
State-perpetrated violence such as genocide, repression, disappearances, torture and other abuses of human rights.
Organized violent crime such as banditry and gang warfare.
Nationalist Terrorists (including ethnic and separatist)
Ideological Terrorists (left and right wing)
Religio-Political Terrorists (including fundamentalist and millenarian)
Single-Issue Terrorists (concerned with only one problem)
State-Sponsored and State-(Supported) Terrorists
Modern terrorism - not a new phenomenon
first wave of terrorism
: variety of
groups - second half 19th century
second wave of terrorism
terrorism - 2 decades after WWII
third wave of terrorism
: '
new left-wing
' terrorism - from the 1970s
fourth wave of terrorism
religious terrorism
- from 1979 Shah's regime toppled by an Islamist revolution
David Rapoport
Taarnby ( 2005 )
: ‘the progressive personal development from law-abiding Muslim to Militant Islamist’;
Jensen (2006)
: ‘a process during which people gradually adopt views and ideas which might lead to the legitimisation of political violence’;
Ongering ( 2007 )
: ‘process of personal development whereby an individual adopts ever more extreme political or politic-religious ideas and goals, becoming convinced that the attainment of these goals justifies extreme methods’;
Demant, Slootman, Buijs & Tillie ( 2008 )
: ‘a process of de-legitimation, a process in which confidence in the system decreases and the individual retreats further and further into his or her own group, because he or she no longer feels part of society’;
Ashour ( 2009 )
: ‘Radicalisation is a process of relative change in which a group undergoes ideological and/or behavioural transformations that lead to the rejection of democratic principles (including the peaceful alternation of power and the legitimacy of ideological and political pluralism) and possibly to the utilisation of violence, or to an increase in the levels of violence, to achieve political goals’;
Olesen ( 2009 )
: ‘the process through which individuals and organisations adopt violent strategies—or threaten to do so—in order to achieve political goals’;
Githens-Mazer ( 2009 )
: ‘a collectively defined, individually felt moral obligation to participate in ‘direct action’ (legal or illegal—as opposed to ‘apathy’)’;
Horgan & Bradock ( 2010 )
: ‘the social and psychological process of incrementally experienced commitment to extremist political or religious ideology’;
Kortweg, et al. ( 2010 )
: ‘the quest to drastically alter society, possibly through the use of unorthodox means, which can result in a threat to the democratic structures and institutions’;
Mandel ( 2012 )
: ‘an increase in and/or reinforcing of extremism in the thinking, sentiments, and/or behaviour of individuals and/or groups of individuals’;
Awan, et al. ( 2012 )
: ‘a phenomenon that has emerged in the early twenty-first century because the new media ecology enables patterns of connectivity that can be harnessed by individuals and groups for practices of persuasion, organisation and the enactment of violence. The very possibility of this happening but uncertainty about how it happens created a conceptual vacuum which ‘radicalisation’ filled’;
Sinai ( 2012 )
: ‘Radicalisation is the process by which individuals—on their own or as part of a group—begin to be exposed to, and then accept, extremist ideologies’;
Baehr ( 2013, forthcoming )
: ‘The concept radicalisation defi nes an individual process, which, influenced by external actors, causes a socialisation during which an internalisation and adoption of ideas and views takes place which are supported and advanced in every form. [Armed] with these ideas and views, the persons [affected] strive to bring about a radical change of the social order. If the ideas and views represent an extremist ideology, they even seek to achieve their goals by means of terrorist violence. [What is] decisive is, that radicalisations presuppose a process of socialization, during which individuals adopt, over a shorter or longer period of time, political ideas and views which in their extremist form can lead to the legitimization of political violence’.
'drowned in complexity'
the concept of radicalisation
, as used in many government-linked quarters, suffers from
, is
, applied
(only non-state actors are assumed to radicalise, not governments), often
lacks a clear benchmark
(e.g. adherence to democratic principles and the rule of law, abstaining from the use of violence for political ends), and is
linked too readily with terrorism
(broadly defined) as outcome.
individual or collective (group) process
whereby, usually in a situation of political polarisation, normal practices of dialogue, compromise and tolerance between political actors and groups with diverging interests are abandoned by one or both sides in
a conflict dyad
in favour of
a growing commitment to engage in confrontational tactics
of conflict-waging.

These can include either
(i) the use of (non-violent) pressure and coercion,
(ii) various forms of political violence other than terrorism or
(iii) acts of violent extremism in the form of terrorism and war crimes.

The process is, on the side of rebel factions, generally accompanied by an
ideological socialization
away from mainstream or status quo-oriented positions towards more radical or extremist positions involving a
dichotomous world view
and the acceptance of
an alternative focal point
of political mobilization outside the dominant political order as the existing system is no longer recognized as appropriate or legitimate.
(Schmid, 2013: 18)
refers, on the one hand, to
a doctrine
about the presumed effectiveness of a special form or tactic of
fear-generating, coercive political violence
and, on the other hand, to a conspiratorial practice of calculated, demonstrative, direct violent action without legal or moral restraints, targeting mainly civilians and non-combatants, performed for its
psychological effects
on various audiences and conflict parties
A.P. Schmid (Ed.). Handbook of Terrorism Research. London, Routledge, 2011, pp.86-87.
radicalisation as a process
Moving our level of explanation
away from properties to processes
seem to offer tangible rewards beyond just conceptual adequacy and may offer a different approach, for example, to the development of more and efficient counterterrorism initiatives. (Taylor/Horgan, 2012: 130)
viewing terrorism as a process might help develop
our understanding of psychological approaches
to terrorism. (Horgan, 2006:50)
"one of the more detailed recent ones is grounded in
a behavioural approach

focusing on what terrorists do,
not necessarily what they think or believe
(Tore Bjørgo, 2006)
Structural causes
affecting people's lives at rather a abstract level, such as poverty, inequality, illiteracy, diseases etc.
Facilitator or accelerator causes
that make terrorism attractive, without necessarily being prime movers
Motivational causes
as the actual grievances of people at a personal level, prompting them into action
Triggering causes
or triggering events as the direct precipitators of terrorist acts.
Pathways to terrorism
"Essential to understanding this (notion of pathways) is the concept of 'trajectory,' which is
the pathway of development
for the individual
marked by a sequence of transitions
. Every trajectory has an entry point, success point, and the element of timing; transitions refer to the life events themselves that are embedded in the trajectories. Transitions can consist of
sudden critical points
, but also relate to more
complex, long-term processes of change
." (Taylor/Horgan, 2012:133)
Behavioural indicators of Violent Extremism
a number of empirical studies that have examined the behavioural manifestations of the radicalisation process
(Borum, 2011b: 52)
Adopting a
of Islam
only select (and ideologically rigid)
religious authorities
Perceived (incompatible)
between Islam and the West
Low tolerance
for (and personalised reaction against) perceived theological deviance
Attempts to
impose religious beliefs
on others
(Western conspiracy to subjugate Islam)
‘… behavioral manifestations of the radicalization process in 117 homegrown “jihadist” terrorists from the United States and United Kingdom’
The National Counterterrorism Center (NCC, 2017)
1. Pre-radicalisation
: Prior to exposure to jihadi-Salafi st ideology: Many of these individuals have unremarkable or ordinary lives and jobs with no criminal record.
2. Self-identification
: Where individuals, influenced by external and internal factors, explore Salafi Islam: They begin to dissociate themselves from their previous lives, associate themselves with like-minded individuals, and adopt this ideology as their own.
3. Indoctrination
: Intensification of beliefs and the adoption of jihadi-Salafi ideology: Adoption of the belief that conditions or circumstances require militant jihadi action.
4. Jihadisation
: Acceptance of duty to participate in jihad and self-designate themselves as ‘holy warriors’: The group will begin operational planning for a terrorist attack.
NYPD four-stage linear jihadi-Salafi radicalisation model
largely identical to the FBI model developed by Silber and Bhatt ( 2007 )
For as Schmid notes, ‘Extremists generally tend to have inflexible “
closed minds
”, adhering to a
simplified mono-causal interpretation of the world
where you are either with them or against them, part of the problem or part of the solution’ (Schmid, 2013: 10).
1. Anti-constitutional, anti-democratic, anti-pluralist, authoritarian
2. Fanatical, intolerant, non-compromising, single-minded black-or-white thinkers
3. Rejecting the rule of law while adhering to an ends-justify-means philosophy
4. Use of force/violence over persuasion
5. Uniformity over diversity
6. Collective goals over individual freedom
7. Giving orders over dialogue
8. Strong emphasis on ideology
From the terrorists' point of view
What they experience and why they come to destroy
'Terrorists think
, but they think
within the limits of belief systems
that may be irrational. Unlike the delusions of psychotics, these belief systems are
social constructs
shared by large numbers of people. Terrorist belief systems are
and they are defended with great
emotional intensity
. Anyone who wishes to remain within a terrorist group must limit his thinking to the parameters of the group’s belief system.'
(Goertzel, 2002:1)
Abdelhamid Abaaoud
The New York Police Department (NYPD, 2007) systematically examined 11 in-depth case studies of Al Qa’ida-influenced radicalisation and terrorist cases in the West
Marc Sageman’s four-stage process
the process of Al Qa’ida-influenced radicalisation to violence consists of
four factors or ‘prongs’
, these are:
a sense of ‘moral outrage’
(i.e. a reaction to perceived “major moral violations” such as the killings of Muslims in Bosnia and Chechnya, or the perceived humiliation of Muslims as in the abuse at Abu Grade prison in Iraq – which bridge the local and global in the world view of the recipient (2007: 3))

a specific interpretation of the world
(for instance where moral violations are seen as representing a “war against Islam” (2007: 3))

resonance with personal experiences
(the interpretation of a Western war against Islam that meshes with perceptions in everyday life where anti-Muslim social, political, economic and religious bias and discrimination are perceived. These feelings are exacerbated by a combination of unemployment and boredom, which also drive participation in clandestine activities (2007: 3)), and finally

mobilisation through networks
(Muslim anger and frustration is vented, often through internet forums and chat rooms, and it is this interactivity that acts to radicalise young Muslims together, amplifying grievances (2007: 4).
four recurrent phases in this process, and are not necessarily sequential
(Sageman, 2004, 2007, 2008)
Taarnby’s eight-stage recruitment process (2005)
outlines the structure of a recruitment process which characterises the structure of the Hamburg cell occurring before 11 September 2001
1. individual alienation and marginalisation
2. a spiritual quest
3. a process of radicalisation
4. meeting and associating with like-minded people
5. gradual seclusion and cell formation
6. acceptance of violence as legitimate political means
7. connection with a gatekeeper in the know, and finally
8. going operational
Gill’s pathway model (2007)
a pathway model which charts the trajectory of individuals who become
suicide bombers
. The model proposes that individuals experience four key stages on their path to a suicide bombing
1. a broad
socialisation process
exposure to propaganda
which tends to predispose the audience towards violence
2. the experience of a
‘catalyst event’
which can motivate joining a terrorist organisation
3. some
pre-existing familial or friendship ties
which facilitate the recruitment process, and finally
in-group radicalisation
through internalisation and polarisation of the group’s norms and values
prerequisites that all suicide bombers experience, although Gill argues that the order with which different suicide bombers experience these stages changes from bomber to bomber. Together, the stages mutually reinforce one another
Wiktorowicz’s al-Muhajiroun model
Wiktorowicz (2004) puts greater stress on the role that
social influence
plays in leading a person to join a radicalised Islamic group. identifies four key processes that enhance the likelihood of an individual being drawn to a radical Islamic group and being persuaded to become actively involved
cognitive opening
: where a person becomes receptive to the possibility of new ideas and world views
religious seeking
: where a person seeks meaning through a religious framework
frame alignment
: where the public representation proffered by the radical group ‘makes sense’ to the seeker and attracts their initial interest
: where a person experiences religious instruction that facilitates indoctrination, identity-construction, and value changes.
The first three processes are necessary prior conditions for the fourth (the socialisation stage)
empirically-based study of radicalisation
‘The staircase to terrorism’ - Moghaddam (2007)
a more sophisticated ‘multi-causal approach’ to understanding suicide terrorism
analogy of a narrowing “staircase to terrorism”.
individual (dispositional factors)

organisational (situational factors)

environmental (socio-cultural, economic and political forces).
The fifth floor is the last step or operational phase, with recruits receiving the cognitive resources necessary to overcome natural inhibitory mechanisms required to kill others by:

categorising the target as ‘the enemy’
exaggerating in-group and out-group differences
preventing any inhibitory mechanisms (i.e. allowing victims of the attack to become aware of the danger and thereby behave in a way that could change the attacker’s mind).
Climbing to the fourth floor is to fully enter the terrorist organisation. Here recruits are
socialised and assimilated
into the secret life of the terrorist cell. The group promotes categorical
us-versus-them dichotomous thinking
, and the group’s clandestine mission fosters increasing isolation from wider society. Moghaddam describes how pressures to
conform and obey
increase the likelihood of terrorist acts by members and narrow the options for leaving the group.
The role of the terrorist organisation emerges on the third floor, where
training and ‘moral engagement’
occur, with narrative to persuade the individual that its ends justify its means in achieving an ‘ideal society’. Employing
tactics of “isolation, affiliation, secrecy, and fea
r” acts to encourage and maintain this moral disengagement.
This floor is characterised by
displaced aggression
, often verbalised rather than expressed through violent action.

There is little by way of explanation for the transition to the third floor except the conscious seeking of ways to take physical action.
Those on the first floor have a perception of:

blocked social mobility and
exclusion from political decision making
, which generates a sense of injustice at the illegitimacy of existing procedures and systems of rules

displaced aggression
’, whereby others are blamed for their perceived problems.
a degree of predisposition
towards terrorism via:
subjective perceptions of
blocked social mobility
perceived threats
to their identity –antagonised by increasing globalisation and Westernisation.

This is the most ‘foundational’ floor, presumably with the largest number of inhabitants due to widespread perceptions of relative deprivation and injustice.
“the fundamentally important feature of the situation is […] how people perceive the building and the doors they think are open to them” (2007: 70).
McCauley and Moskalenko’s
12 mechanisms of political radicalisation (2008)
young, male, 18-30
women more supportive roles, becoming more prominent!
high levels of impulsivity, confidence, risk taking & status needs
more positive attitudes towards vengeful behaviour
assessment tools
Extremism Risk Guidelines (ERG+)
Geometric Risk Indicator Positioning of Extremists (GRiPe)
Violent Extremism Risk Assessment 2r (VERA 2r)
Revised Religious Fundamentalism Scale (RRFS)
+ demographic items: sex, married, age

having an “
emotional vulnerability
” (feelings of anger, alienation or disenfranchisement), often linked to feelings of being culturally uprooted or displaced and searching for spiritual guidance
with mainstream political or social protest as a method to produce political change
identification with the suffering
of Muslim victims globally or experience of personal victimisation
the conviction that violence against the state and its symbols can be
morally justified
(and this conviction can be ‘fine tuned’ by a religious figure)
gaining rewards from membership
of the group/movement (such as status, respect, and authority over other members)
close social ties
, having contact with people experiencing the same set of issues or having some involvement with terrorism through family or other associates.

there is no standard Jihad terrorist
” (Bakker, 2008: 53)
Understanding Radicalisation and Violent Extremism in the UK (2008), a later study conducted by MI5’s Behavioural Science Unit,11 and based on several hundred in-depth case studies of individuals in Britain
Most were seen as “
demographically unremarkable
” and simply reflecting the communities in which they lived (Guardian, 2008). Furthermore, all had taken strikingly different journeys to violent extremist activity

unremarkable walks of life
” (NYPD, 2007: 82)
average educations, average jobs, and little, if any, criminal history
Triggerfactoren in het Radicaliseringsproces
Expertise-unit Sociale Stabiliteit | Universiteit van Amsterdam
Dit zijn gebeurtenissen die aanwijsbaar een (verdere) (de-)radicalisering in gang zetten. Er bestaan twee categorieën triggerfactoren: keerpunten en katalysatoren
Een moderator is een variabele die d
e sterkte en/of de richting
van een triggerfactor in het radicaliseringsproces kan beïnvloeden. Met andere woorden, een moderator specificeert onder welke omstandigheden een effect plaatsvindt.
Models of the radicalization process
Radicalisation as a Process
Models of the Radicalisation process
Triggers to radicalisation
Risk factors to radicalisation
Properties versus process?
behavioural indicators by the German federal state of Brandenburg.
Visible changes in style of clothing and behaviour.
Break with their own family and turn to ‘new friends’.
Religion becomes an explanation for everything and is constantly referred to.
Other Muslims who do not follow strict religious practices are denounced as unbelievers.
Participation in combat sports and survival training.
Fraud and other criminal activities against non-believers.
Participation in religious seminars of radical preachers.
Visit of jihadist websites and viewing of jihadist videos.
Taking of language lessons followed by trips abroad.
Efforts to evade detection (loss of passport, etc.).
Sudden change back to Western clothes, partying before the attack.
(Schmid, 2013: 27)
The German list of possible behavioural indicators
a study of HVEs undertaken between 2008 and 2016
The Collin Mellis model (2007)
Multiple cognitive pathways towards violent extremism
Geoff Dean, 2014)
Triggerfactoren in het Radicaliseringsproces
Expertise-unit Sociale Stabiliteit | Universiteit van Amsterdam
Triggerfactoren in het Radicaliseringsproces
Expertise-unit Sociale Stabiliteit | Universiteit van Amsterdam
Triggerfactoren in het Radicaliseringsproces
Expertise-unit Sociale Stabiliteit | Universiteit van Amsterdam
Profile or individual risk factors??
Horgan (2008: 82–83) suggests six key risk factors that may predispose individual involvement in terrorism and suicide bombing. These are:
Profile or individual risk factors??
Profile or individual risk factors??
moral disengagement
neutralization techniques (Sykes & Matza)
dehumanization & distancing
(religious) ideology
relative deprivation (facilitative role)
blocked social mobility
failed integration hypothesis
identity crisis - identity confusion
segregation, discrimination
cognitive openings
political explanations
primacy of grievances
frustration aggression & humiliation revenge mechanisms
role of social bounds and networks
conformity, obedience & connectedness
differential association theory
social epidemics
radicalisation incubators: prisons, internet
detecting particular set of distinguishing characteristics
'terrorist personality'
forms of psychopathology
repressed sexuality
other distinguishing personality traits

terrorists => normality and ordinariness!!
250+ definitions!!
radicalisation - extremism - terrorism
what's in a name?
street dawa - Antwerpen - Sharia4Belgium
def. vs data

rechterhand & lijfwacht Fouad Belkacem
Abu Hanifah al-Belgiki (Hicham Chaïb)
Turning away from terrorism
'becoming involved'
with political extremism of terrorism
'being involved'
with political extremism or terrorism either passively (supporter) or actively (terrorist)
'ending involvement'
with political extremism or terrorism either passively or actively
= (gradually) abandoning extremist
individual vs collective
The growth of extremism—violent and non-violent—is
one of the key social and political challenges facing Western societies today
. Far right political parties are making headway in elections across Europe, populist sentiments are circulating, extremist groups and networks are growing in confidence, and terrorists groups and lone wolf individuals of different kinds continue to aim to commit violent acts and strike terror into communities.
The Institute for Strategic Dialogue - 2012
Moghaddam ( 2006: 280) underscores the importance of disentangling
radicalisation in attitudes
radicalisation of behaviour
when he states: ‘Almost eight decades of psychological research on attitudes […] suggest that radicalisation of attitudes need not result in radicalisation of behaviour’.
The indicators of violent extremist mobilization described herein are intended to provide federal, state, local, territorial and tribal law enforcement a roadmap of observable behaviors that could inform whether individuals or groups are preparing to engage in violent extremist activities including potential travel overseas to join a Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO). The indicators are grouped by their assessed levels of diagnosticity—meaning how clearly we judge the behavior demonstrates an individual’s trajectory towards terrorist activity.
six-step behavioral-analysis model by Calhoun & Weston (2008, 2012) - FBI/BAU
include factors that accelerate and decelerate he process: family ties, financial resources, holding down a good job, ...
better prepared to risk-score a potential violent extremist
Pathway warning behavior
1. Needs (individual motivation)

quest for significance
2. Narratives (role of ideology)
3. Networks (group dynamics)
Personal & group identity
"3N" approach
(Webber & Kruglanski 2017)
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