These ‘experts’ look at all kinds of things, age, nationality, where the jihadists become radicalized, where they are recruited, but none of them looks at the obvious: At the Koran and the mosques, at the indoctrination and the attitudes of the believers against unbelievers and Jews:
Somali-born Briton Osman Husein, photographed at Rome’s central police station. He was arrested on suspicion of being a member of a group that tried and failed to detonate a second series of bombs on London’s public transport two weeks after the July 7, 2005 bombings.
Mohammed Bouyeri, suspected killer of Dutch filmmaker Theo van Gogh. His family came from Morocco. Before he became a radical, he was involved in various youth projects. Then came a sudden break that led him to murder.
By Yassin Musharbash
242 jihadists, 31 attacks, 28 networks. After examining militant Islamism in Europe, researchers have found that self-recruitment is on the rise among terrorist leader Osama bin Laden’s Eurofighters, and that there is no such thing as a standard terrorist.
Dutch researchers Edwin Bakker and Teije Hidde Donker had an ambitious goal in mind when they wrote: “We must find out who the jihadists are, where they come from and what they look like.” Although they were not able to answer that question in its entirety, their study, “Jihadi Terrorists in Europe,” does offer plenty of fascinating results.
They researched the stories of 242 people who, between 2001 and 2006, were organized in 28 networks, planned 31 attacks and, in some cases, executed or allegedly executed these attacks. (Some are still considered presumed terrorists because their cases are still pending.) The list includes little known plots, such as the attempt to attack the Spanish Supreme Court in 2004, as well as prominent terrorist attacks, including the murder of Dutch filmmaker Theo van Gogh in 2004 and the 2005 London bus and subway bombings.
One of the most important findings of the Dutch study is that there are no standard jihadists. According to the researchers, the 28 networks they identified differ considerably from one another. In some cases, authorities were dealing with individual attackers, whereas more than 30 people were involved in the 2004 bombings of trains in Madrid. The data also cover a wide range when it comes to the attackers’ ages. The youngest was 16 and the oldest 59, which makes the average age of 27.3 years not especially meaningful.