Fear Thy Neighbor. Radicalization and Jihadist Attacks in the West

14 June 2017

Over the last three years Europe and North America have been hit by an unprecedented wave of terrorist attacks perpetrated by individuals motivated by jihadist ideology. Who are the individuals who have carried out these attacks? Were they born and raised in the West? Or were they an “imported threat”, refugees and migrants? How did they radicalize? Were they well educated and integrated, or social outcasts? Did they act alone? What were their connections to the Islamic State?

The answers to these and other questions have large implications for our understanding of the threat facing us and, consequently, help us design sounder policy solutions built on empirical evidence. This study, the first of its kind, seeks to analyze the demographic profile, radicalization trajectories and connections to the Islamic State of all the individuals who have carried out attacks



Lorenzo Vidino is the Director of the Program on Extremism at The George Washington University (Washington DC) and Head of the newly founded Program on Radicalization and International Terrorism at ISPI. In 2016, he was appointed by the Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi as coordinator of the National Commission on Jihadist Radicalization.

Francesco Marone holds a PhD in Political Science. He is an Associate Fellow at ISPI’s Program on Radicalization and International Terrorism. Moreover, he is currently an Adjunct Lecturer at the University of Pavia and a Researcher at Éupolis Lombardia, Milan. He is also an Associate Fellow at the International Centre for Counter-Terrorism – The Hague (ICCT).

Eva Entenmann is the Program Manager at the International Centre for Counter-Terrorism – The Hague (ICCT). Previously, she worked at the International Bar Association, the Free University of Amsterdam and the Australian Institute of International Affairs.