Tags: Middle East | War on Terrorism | abu hamza | shariah | united kingdom

Study: Most UK Jihadists Tied to Non-Violent Islamism

Image: Study: Most UK Jihadists Tied to Non-Violent Islamism
Police officers man on Fonthill road near Finsbury Park station after a vehicle struck pedestrians in north London, June 19, 2017. A vehicle struck pedestrians near a mosque in north London, causing several casualties. (Tim Ireland/AP)

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Tuesday, 03 October 2017 08:48 AM Current | Bio | Archive

From the IPT Website

Ties to non-violent Islamism are strongly associated with an eventual embrace of jihadism, according to a new study that explores the trajectories of British jihadists.

In "For Caliph and Country: Exploring How British jihadis Join a Global Movement," researcher Rachel Bryson seeks to find out how a radical global ideology has captivated so many people living in the United Kingdom.

More than three-quarters of 113 randomly selected British jihadists studied were linked with non-violent Islamist organizations and networks prior to their radicalization toward jihad. For this study, jihadists include people who have engaged in terrorist operations, active supporters, and facilitators of jihadi activity.

While there is no universal path to jihad, the report shows that "the vast majority of our sample moved towards jihadism after their exposure to non-violent Islamist ideologies."

Many of the people profiled were radicalized through "personal connections," or after attending Islamic institutions, including several mosques featuring Islamist preachers.

"At least 17 per cent of our sample attended talks by Islamist preachers at Finsbury Park Mosque in north London," including Abu Hamza al-Masri, a radical imam suspended in 2002 who continued to offer radical sermons outside the mosque's gates. Abu Hamza "was also a leader of 'Supporters of Shariah,' an Islamist group."

Several prominent terrorists committed attacks after listening to Abu Hamza preach, including one of the suicide bombers in the July 7, 2005 London subway attacks that killed 52 people.

"Individuals in our sample also had connections to Islamist bookshops or markets that sold Islamist materials," the study concludes.

Click here to read the full report.

In 2016, a study by the Centre on Religion and Geopolitics suggested that membership or ties to non-violent Islamist organizations can be associated with an individual's trajectory towards violence and terrorism.

More than half of the prominent jihadi terrorists in that study were previously connected to Islamist groups that claim to be non-violent, including "bodies that are not necessarily political activist organizations but form a functioning arm of existing Islamist groups, such as youth wings, student associations, and other societies." One in four of the 100 Salafi-Jihadi figures examined had ties to the Muslim Brotherhood or its affiliated groups.

Steven Emerson is executive director of The Investigative Project on Terrorism. He was a correspondent for CNN and a senior editor at U.S. News and World Report. Read more reports from Steve Emerson — Click Here Now.

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Ties to non-violent Islamism are strongly associated with an eventual embrace of jihadism, according to a new study that explores the trajectories of British jihadists.
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Tuesday, 03 October 2017 08:48 AM
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