Print version

Ties that Bind: Dynamics of Group Radicalisation in Italy's Jihadists Headed for Syria and Iraq


In recent years, thousands of radical citizens and residents from Europe have joined the so-called ‘Islamic State’ (IS) in Syria and Iraq. Unlike other European countries, Italy has traditionally been characterised by the prevalence of individual pathways of radicalisation over group mechanisms. Nevertheless, recent cases show interesting indications of the increasing role of small groups based on pre-existing personal relationships (family and friendship ties). This kind of bond can be particularly salient for IS, a jihadist “proto-state”, which needs not only ‘foreign fighters’ but also new ‘citizens’ of different sexes and ages, including entire families.
Keywords: Italy, radicalisation, terrorism, jihadism, foreign fighters