Monday, January 18, 2010



Sam Mullins

Recently, much attention has been devoted to the ‘home-grown’ nature of Islamist terrorism in Western countries. This term permeates headlines, various reports and national psyches. It has been described as the “new face of terrorism,” [2] and the “main [terrorist] threat” [3] faced by the West. However, it is a term that carries with it certain assumptions and implications that should be clarified so the public may gain a greater understanding of contemporary threats to national security. This article examines key connotations of home-grown Islamist terrorism in an effort to assess the validity of the term and draw attention to the need for more careful specification of meaning in its application.

First, it is necessary to clarify the scope of reference. ‘The West’ is a very broad expression generally understood to include Australia, Canada, Western Europe, and the United States. Of course, these countries share social and political dimensions that make them comparable; however, each also has their own unique history and profile that must be taken into account when assessing individual ‘home-grown’ issues. Each country’s immigration history and related cultural identity affects the extent to which Muslims in the West have become integrated into their ‘host’ societies. [4] Hypothetically, the less integrated and more socially isolated, the greater potential for feelings of disillusionment and resentment, which may significantly increase the likelihood of one turning to terrorism. Thus, it is argued that Western European countries (their own differences notwithstanding [5]) are far more at risk to home-grown Islamist terrorism (HGIT) than the US due in large part to a history of lax immigration and asylum laws. These policies are contributory factors behind the large number of –often unskilled and therefore deprived- Muslim immigrants to enter countries like Britain and Spain and in combination with nationalistic cultural nuances these conditions are thought to have fostered marginalisation and segregation. [6], [7] By contrast the US’s ‘cultural melting pot’ and ‘land of opportunity’ ethos are thought to have fostered far more integrated Muslim populations that are more likely to positively identify with their host nation and to reject collective explanations for personal adversity, relative or otherwise. [8] Australia and Canada have been posited as lying somewhere between these two extremes. Like America, immigration has been integral to the growth of their populations, but like Europe they have maintained liberal asylum policies and social benefit systems, [9] which may attract the ‘wrong’ kind of immigrants. While such claims may at times seem blunt and sweeping, it is apparent there are differences between Western countries that may at times be more relevant than their similarities. The present paper represents a brief overview of relevant matters, but for the purposes of more country-specific in-depth analyses, such differences would necessarily take on greater significance.

Working definitions of terrorism require a degree of common sense and an appreciation of the relativity of labelling. [10] The use of politically/religiously justified violence against non-combatants by sub-state groups or organisations is a key part of the globally accepted definitions. Specifically, Islamist terrorism is inspired by Salafi/Wahhabi ideology and championed by al-Qaeda and similar organisations across the globe. ‘Home-grown’ Islamist terrorism as a term seems to be largely taken for granted as being self-evident without being specifically defined. Usage of the term tends to focus on where perpetrators are from [11] and whether they receive international organisational support. [12] Each of these elements carries implications for the practice of terrorism, which allow the definition of HGIT to be broken down into several facets. Stricter definitions of HGIT would require that attempted/successful terrorists:

· Were born and/or spent most of their lives in the West

· Were radicalised [13] within their Western home countries

· Have trained and achieved attack-capability in their Western home countries

· Have planned/carried out attacks in their Western home countries

· And are lacking direct foreign (non-Western) international support or control

While it may be rare for any one group of terrorists to fulfil all of these criteria, [14] certain key overlapping themes commonly appear in definitions of HGIT. Notable aspects include the nationality of the terrorists and the country of radicalisation in relation to the targeted country. Also highlighted are the country of “jihadisation” and preparation involved in attack (including training, planning and procurement of materials and weapons) and the level of international influence or cooperation at each stage (including ideological communication, training, operational advice and logistical support).

What seems like a simple straight-forward piece of terminology, is in fact, a moniker laden with assumptions and implications. It is therefore important to assess the veracity of prescribed attributes of HGIT, which revolve around a central theme of change and development. If HGIT represents a ‘new’ manifestation of the ongoing terrorist threat, what exactly is new about it? In order to answer this question it is necessary to further explore the who, when, what, where, how, and why of terrorism.

Who and when relate to terrorist profiles- who commits acts of radical Islamist terrorism and at what point in their lives do they choose to do so? The heterogeneity of terrorists “makes it difficult, if not impossible, to effectively profile [them]”; [15] however, it is still possible to make general observations that aid in assessing the nature of HGIT. Prior to September 11th, it was suggested that “U.S. Customs personnel should give extra scrutiny to the passports of young foreigners claiming to be "students" and meeting the following general description: physically fit males in their early twenties of Egyptian, Jordanian, Yemeni, Iraqi, Algerian, Syrian, or Sudanese nationality, or Arabs bearing valid British passports, in that order. These characteristics generally describe the core membership of Osama bin Laden's Arab "Afghans"…who are being trained to attack the United States with WMD.” [16] The inclusion of possible British passports reflects recognition that mujahedin had been establishing themselves throughout Europe since the early 1990’s. [17] However, more recent profiles clearly emphasise Western nationality as being a likelihood, rather than a possibility, of one attacking a target in the West. Summarizing the characteristics of the terrorists behind five plots from 2004 to 2006 Silber & Bhatt [18] describe those responsible as being male Muslims below the age of 35 and local residents/citizens of Western liberal democracies, a profile repeated in their analysis of groups throughout the United States. [19] It also noted that these men are often second or third generation inhabitants as opposed to recent immigrants. They generally also had ‘ordinary’ backgrounds and included recent ‘converts’ to Islam among their numbers. Along similar lines, Leiken & Brooke [20] report that of a sample of 373 terrorists charged, convicted, or killed in Europe and North America between 1990 and 2004, 41% were Western nationals. [21] Such observations are almost certainly the least contestable aspect of HGIT, indeed they are the very basis for the term as a recognition of the evolution of the threat posed by terrorism in the West from ‘exogenous’ to ‘endogenous.’ [22] Who carries out attacks is of course very much related to the Where of Islamist terrorism. [23]

While Islamist terrorists were responsible for the first World Trade Centre bombing of 1993, and a group of French-born militants acting for the Armed Islamic Group (GIA) were responsible for the 1995 spate of bombings in France, [24] the consensus is that Europe and the West have now emerged as primary targets, as well as bases of operation. This is reflected in the apparent graduation of terrorist networks in the West as they have moved beyond logistical support and dawa to carry out attacks, as evidenced by the steady stream of uncovered plots since 9/11. For purposes of assessing the home-grown element of terrorism, it is notable that in addition to radicalisation, it appears that the internet and camping trips are utilised for training purposes within the West. [25] This means that, at least theoretically, a terrorist group could emerge and reach attack capability without ever leaving their home country, although foreign travel seems to occur more often than not.

Returning briefly to the profile of HGIT, further developments seem to suggest that terrorists are getting younger and females are playing an increasingly important role. Taarnby Jensen [26] states “it is now possible to radicalise and recruit very young Muslims in much more diverse settings than previously” and the Dutch General Intelligence and Security Agency (AIVD), [27] describes the radical pool of potential and emerging terrorist recruits as “youngsters” between the ages of 16 and 25. They also note “the growing participation of young women in local jihadist networks.” Such findings reflect a growing awareness and accessibility of radical Islamist messages in the West, propagated via successful attacks and the dissemination of related (often online) propaganda. However, in terms of assessing the nature of HGIT, it is also important to note that seemingly wider dissemination goes hand in hand with a degree of bastardization as new audiences input their own knowledge and experience into the basic ideological ‘us versus them’ formula popularised and re-expressed countless times in the wake of 9/11. Thus, the Hofstad group’s ideological and operational innovation demonstrates active reconstruction and interpretation of the Islamist terrorist cause (although interestingly this ‘innovation’ –focussing on local issues and opting for targeted assassination- is reminiscent of terrorist approaches in the pre-Global jihad era). The ‘cultural dilution’ of militant Salafism is exemplified by the observation that “Many youngsters from the Muslim-majority ghettoes of various European cities adopt several behaviors typical of Western street culture, such as dressing like rappers, smoking marijuana and drinking alcohol, yet watching jihadi videos and having pictures of Osama bin Laden on the display of their cell phones.” [28] Whether or not increasingly popular, distorted and diverse interpretations of Islamist terrorist ideology will eventually detract from the potency of the overall cause, their existence confirms and re-emphasises a truly home-grown phenomena.

Consistent with recognition of Western input into the overriding anti-Western campaign are assertions as to the autonomy of HGIT groups. This brings us to the what, how, and why of terrorism and relates to both the genesis of terrorist activity (radicalisation and jihadisation) and the physical acts involved (preparation and execution of attacks). The radicalisation of a minority of young Muslim men of differing backgrounds in Western countries seems to have traditionally been viewed as a direct result of the presence of foreign ‘recruiters,’ usually in the form of experienced jihadis and sheiks operating out of established “centres of gravity” [29] such as London’s Finsbury Park mosque, part of an extensive international network established in the post-Afghan jihad era. However, accounts of contemporary processes of radicalisation and jihadisation tend to emphasise spontaneous group interaction, bottom-up “grass roots” [30] adoption of militancy and “only marginal ties to structured terrorist groups” [31] indicating a lack of organisational support or control. These developments have lead HGIT groups such as the 7/7 bombers to be regarded as ‘self-starters’ and have been widely attributed to the ““decentralization of Al Qaeda” [caused by post-9/11 counter-terrorism measures] or the growth of Salafism as a social movement.” [32] Spontaneous group interaction and bottom-up recruitment have nevertheless been important throughout the life of the ‘global Salafi jihad’[33] and although societal conditions have changed,(including growth of the Internet, greater public awareness of Islamist terrorists’ cause, and a more restrictive security environment),basic patterns of radicalisation still share certain key features. Thus, while Taarnby Jensen [26] draws attention to differences in the profiles of recent Danish terrorists as being younger, raised and radicalised within Denmark, and of questionable organisational affiliation, his description of the ‘Glostrup’ cell follows a very familiar sounding trajectory. This small group of friends spontaneously formed in and around mosques and grew extremely close to each other before eventually rejecting the mosques as too moderate. Group meetings continued in more private settings and they established associations with known radicals [34]as they sought to pursue terrorist activities, in this case abroad in Bosnia. This closely resembles descriptions of the basic patterns of radicalisation, [18],[22] which capture underlying social-psychological processes at the heart of extremism and seem to be widely applicable to various Islamist terrorist groups over the years.

Whether or not the role of autonomy in the past has been under-emphasised, it seems generally accepted that HGIT groups today are significantly more independent, and as a result, more amateurish when they progress to the operational stage because they must rely on their own resources and initiative to gain the knowledge and skills required. Nevertheless, the existence and nature of (international) ties to external groups, networks, or organisations remains a poorly understood area of concern, sometimes tainted with rumour or speculation, and perhaps at times too easily dismissed as a thing of the past. Commenting on the Operation Crevice trial of UK-based would-be bombers arrested in March 2004 [35] the Deputy Assistant Commissioner of the Metropolitan police remarked upon evident links between the UK group and al-Qaeda in Pakistan as well as links to the US and Canada, “What this case and others in the future will show is that we are dealing with a threat posed by interlinked networks of terrorists.” [36] Likewise, Australian Parliament [37] reported in 2006 that recent experience of Islamist terrorism showed that it “has an international dimension, in the sense that perpetrators are likely to receive training or get financial support from sources in other countries”. Jonathan Evans, the Director General of MI5, reported this year that a “development in the last 12 months has been the extent to which the conspiracies here are being driven from an increasing range of overseas countries.” [38] Given the highly social nature of Islamist terrorist activity and the apparent importance of status systems as well as the sustained popularity of jihadi combat zones within radical Islamist subcultures it seems likely that ‘official’ affiliation will often be sought and achieved to varying degrees. It is therefore prudent not to think of HGIT as a homogenous phenomenon, but instead a continuum encompassing “a whole spectrum of realities, positioned according to the level of autonomy of the group.” [39] Along such lines, Hoffman15 identifies four levels of al-Qaeda, including the remaining core central staff (still representing the biggest potential threat) various organisational affiliates, ‘al-Qaeda locals’ who have established links to al-Qaeda, and finally the ‘al-Qaeda network’ with no organisational links.[40]

The why of terrorism is possibly the most difficult question to answer. While isolated individuals may crop up who are experiencing some form of psychopathology, [41] there is nothing to indicate that perpetrators of HGIT on the whole are more likely than terrorists of the ‘past’ or than the world’s general population to be suffering from mental illness. Although it is beyond the scope of this paper to explore the full range of explanations for why people take to terrorism, suffice to say there are multiple, interacting factors that make it more or less likely one will do so. Thus, for example, at the individual level experience of personal adversity or change might contribute to decisions that lead to terrorist involvement whilst at the societal and global level political grievances and worldly events can have a profound impact on groups and individuals. A common thread which seems to tie these levels of explanation together is a process of social identification. Thus what both personal and global circumstances share is the power to lead individuals to identify with a certain social category, in this case the perceived Muslim umma. What then drives individuals beyond identification and empathy towards violent action is rooted in spontaneous group dynamics and continued exposure to violent ideology, which together act to narrow down the gamut of acceptable identities and to define related scripts for action.[42] It is extremely difficult to say whether antecedents of HGIT are any different from ‘imported’ terrorism. Terrorists born in Middle Eastern or other countries may have been more likely to have been involved in violent political conflicts or to have experienced oppression first hand growing up. Therefore, terrorist militancy, while still extreme, would be an extension of an existing almost innate and more ‘real’ identity. Conversely the adoption of terrorist identities by ‘purely’ home-grown participants born and raised in the West appears to have a strong reactionary or deliberately rebellious nature as they consciously reject Western identities that they are geographically born, if not raised into. Along these lines, Roy has asserted that “To convert to Islam today is a way for a European rebel to find a cause; it has little to do with theology” [43] and DurodiĆ© [44] has suggested that acts of home-grown terrorism are “akin to the Columbine high school massacre,” finding their basis in cultural nihilism. An interesting related implication is that there may have been a change in expectations about what it means to get involved in radical and militant Islam. Hence Silber & Bhatt remark that “there is no longer any illusion as to what the adoption of jihadi-Salafi ideology means” [45] and Taarnby Jensen [46] observes that individuals drawn to radical mosques “often know exactly which interpretation of Islam they want to hear.” If such claims are accurate, it is possible to make a distinction between earlier generations of Islamist terrorists and their home-grown ‘descendants’ based upon their social identities. Relatively speaking, in earlier generations an identity congruent with the cause preceded or went hand in hand with some form of frustration and desire to act, whilst in later generations ‘frustration’ precedes adoption of an identity which enables action. From this perspective, the radical Islamist ideology behind HGIT is more of a vehicle for expression rather than a cause of violence per se, which therefore implies that in the absence of such an ideology groups and individuals would presumably find some alternative avenue of expression. A potential danger with this line of reasoning; however, is the possibility of underestimating HGIT as it paints a picture of home-grown terrorists as something less than the genuine article, (and tendencies toward underestimation would be exacerbated if the disruption caused by counter-terrorism efforts has been inflated). There may well be many ‘wannabes’ and ‘amateurs’ among the ranks of Islamist terrorists, but they are still committed to killing. As evidenced by racial tensions and violence in the Netherlands following the murder of Theo Van Gogh, it does not take a huge number of casualties to have a significant impact on society. [47]

Furthermore the ‘decentralised’ or dispersed network structure attributed to contemporary Islamist terrorism, (seemingly therefore integral to HGIT), in conjunction with the apparent growth in the number of terrorists holding Western passports, is thought to be evidence of increased difficulty in detecting their activities. Such a perspective is given credence by the AIVD [48] who have acknowledged that “The emergence of these local cells, some of which interact with members of international veterans networks, has complicated the anticipated threat for the near future, especially since such locally operating cells can easily blend in with the society in which they live, which makes it more difficult to identify them.” Conversely, heightened counter-terrorism measures (for instance, France alone has arrested some 1422 people on terrorist charges since 2002 [49]) have increased chances of detection. This fact, along with the significant number of successfully foiled plots, seems to suggest that –pending an exceptional group of terrorists- overall, the odds remain stacked in the favour of the security services. Of course, the maxim remains that terrorists only have to succeed once. Given that there has been a marked increase in radical Islam, what may be the true difficulty for security services is the problem of false positives, or being confronted with a haystack of potentially dangerous radicals that demand attention, sometimes at the expense of being able to distinguish the truly ‘jihadized’ terrorists.

There is more than meets the eye to ‘home-grown’ Islamist terrorism, and yet, it is widely referred to without clarification. It is undeniable that “Islamist terrorism can no longer be regarded as an external threat, but rather as a threat rooted in and aimed against the Western society itself.” [50] This is reflected in the increasing popularity of radical Islam within various Western countries and the obvious willingness of a minority of Western citizens and residents to perpetrate acts of terrorism in their home countries in the name of ‘Islam.’ References to HGIT have helped draw attention to ‘endogenous’ elements of a pervasive global Islamist struggle, whereby processes of radicalisation, jihadisation, and preparation for attack all take place within the West. This recognition has helped to focus the efforts of various security agencies, policy makers, and analysts alike as Western societies are now scrutinised as much if not more than their Middle Eastern or North African counterparts in the search for ‘answers’ to terrorism. However a closer, yet still brief, examination of underlying assumptions has highlighted the fact that contemporary Islamist terrorism in the West does not appear to be an entirely distinct manifestation from previous decades and is both varied and complex. Invoking unqualified reference to HGIT with the advent of each new plot uncovered runs the risk of overemphasising homogeneity. Groups of terrorists do seem to share common patterns of development as individuals come together, radicalise and decide to take action but there appears to be considerable variation both within and between these groups. In particular levels of international support and cooperation may have been underemphasised as foreign links are often uncovered [51] and the nature and role of ‘autonomy’ (ideological, financial, and operational) is poorly understood. By taking a much more systematic approach to the analysis and cross-comparison of groups of terrorists in and out-with the West rather than relying on anecdotal evidence it will be possible to describe with more confidence the existing range of HGIT, which in turn will increase pattern-recognition and chances of prediction of future trends. In addition, qualified and consistent usage of terms such as ‘home-grown’ has the potential to aid research into terrorism because researchers and authors of open source materials both mutually influence each other’s work. Finally, Islamist terrorism is a diverse and dynamic phenomenon. Researchers must remain sensitive to change and development but also continuity in order to be able to accurately capture and understand the progression of its various manifestations.

Sam Mullins gained an MSc in Investigative Psychology from the University of Liverpool,(UK), writing a thesis on the small group psychology of terrorism. He is currently a PhD candidate at the Centre for Transnational Crime Prevention (CTCP) at the University of Wollongong, Australia.


[1] The author would like to thank Dr. Adam Dolnik for his comments on the preparation of this article.

[2] Mueller, R, (2006), Remarks Prepared for delivery by Director Robert S. Mueller 3rd Federal Bureau of Investigation, The City Club of Cleveland, Cleveland, Ohio, June 23rd 2006; accessed online 31/10/07

[3] Maley, P, (2007), “Home-grown Terrorism Now Main Threat” The Australian, October 4th 2007; accessed online 31/10/07,25197,22527581-5001561,00.html

[4] Leiken, R, (2005), “Europe’s Mujahideen: Where Mass Immigration Meets Global Terrorism” Center for Immigration Studies Backgrounder, April 2005; accessed online 25/10/07

[5] Each country is clearly geographically unique and hosts its own particular established immigrant populations. As Leiken7 has noted “Algerians [typify the Muslim population in] in France, Moroccans in Spain, Turks in Germany, and Pakistanis in the United Kingdom.”

[6] See chapter 1 in Vidino, L, (2006), “Al Qaeda In Europe: The New Battleground of International Jihad” New York: Prometheus Books

[7] Leiken, R, (2005), “Europe’s Angry Muslims” Foreign Affairs, July/August 2005; accessed online 7/11/07

[8] Sageman, M, (2007), “Radicalization of Global Islamist Terrorists” Address to Unite States Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, June 27, 2007; accessed online 25/10/07

[9] Silber & Bhatt18 cited in Neighbour, S, (2007), “Self-made Terrorists” The Australian, August 17th, 2007, accessed online 8/10/07,25197,22257201-28737,00.html

[10] The difficulty in achieving objectivity when it comes to applying definitions of terrorism has yet again been demonstrated as the Council of Europe recently condemned lists of terrorist organisations kept by the EU and UN as “totally arbitrary,” (“Totally Arbitrary: Marty Slams EU, UN Terror Blacklists” Der Spiegel, 13th November 2007; accessed online 13/11/07,1518,517043,00.html

[11] For example in the UK it was reported that “In 2004 the JIC [Joint Intelligence Committee] noted that *** % of current Security Service targets for investigation were British and judged that over the next five years the UK would continue to face a threat from ‘home-grown’ as well as foreign terrorists,” (Murphy, P, (2006), “Intelligence and Security Committee: Report into the London Terrorist Attacks on 7 July 2005” Crown Copyright: The Stationery Office).

[12] As the Director of the FBI has emphasised, “They may not have any connection to al Qaeda or to other terrorist groups.”2

[13] Radicalisation within this context can be defined as coming to accept an extreme interpretation of Islam that a) Portrays Islam as under attack from Western and Western-influenced powers b) Divides the world into Muslims and infidels (‘us’ and ‘them’) and c) Defines ‘jihad’ as necessary violence against Islam’s oppressors, thus legitimising and encouraging acts of terrorism. Jihadisation18 22 has been defined as a distinct and by no means inevitable extension of radicalisation and involves accepting violent jihad as one’s personal responsibility and making effort to provide operational support to terrorists, participate in armed conflict or carry out acts of terrorism.

[14] The fact that there are multiple criteria, none of which are entirely straight-forward in themselves, highlights the difficulty of definition. For example, Taarnby23 notes that a key feature of the Hamburg 9/11 group is the fact that it emanated from within Europe in the absence of applied top-down recruitment, which clearly emphasises its ‘home-grown’ nature. However the fact that cell members were all recent immigrants and there was strong involvement with an international terrorist organisation means that for some, including Hoffman,15 this group is quite distinct from truly ‘home-grown’ terrorism. Such definitional issues raise the need for a system of classification of groups of terrorists in order to reduce levels of ambiguity and aid assessment of continuity and change.

[15] p49 in Hoffman, B, (2007), “The Global Terrorist Threat: Is Al-Qaeda on the Run or on the March?” Middle East Policy, Vol.14, no.2; pp44-58

[16] p50 in Hudson, R, (1999), “The Sociology and Psychology of Terrorism: Who Becomes a Terrorist and Why?” (Majeska, M, (ed.)) report by the Federal Research Division, Library of Congress for The National Intelligence Council (USA); accessed online 1/5/06

[17] pp24-25 in AIVD, (2002), “Recruitment for Jihad in the Netherlands: From Incident to Trend” The Hague: General Intelligence and Security Service

[18] Silber, M, & Bhatt, A, (2007), “Radicalization in the West: The Homegrown Threat” New York City Police Department

[19] Outside of the US, plots covered included Madrid 2004; Amsterdam 2004; London 2005; Sydney/Melbourne 2005; and Toronto 2006. US plots included Portland 2002, Lackawanna 2002, Northern Virginia, 2003 and New York, 2004 & 2006.

[20] Leiken, R, & Brooke, S, (2006), “The Quantitative Analysis of Terrorism and Immigration: An Initial Exploration” Terrorism and Political Violence, Vol.18; pp503-521

[21] A cursory analysis of this dataset, (accessed online 9/11/07: ), also reveals that from 1990 and up to and including 2001, 18% of the sample were born in Western countries, (limited to the US, UK, Spain and mostly France), whereas from 2002 to 2004, inclusive of those listed ‘at large,’ 24% were born in the West, (including the above countries as well as Germany, the Netherlands and Canada). Furthermore 143 terrorists were ‘hosted’ by Western countries between 1990 and including 2001 compared to 219 from 2002 to 2004, inclusive of those still ‘at large.’ These numbers suggest an increase in the numbers of Western-born terrorists and in Western-based terrorist activity, however for assessing home-grown terrorism it is also necessary to know where terrorists grew up and trained. Quantitative data must also be complemented by qualitative analysis and as a caveat, aspects of the particular dataset used by Leiken and Brooke are disputable, (eg Anthony Garcia of the UK fertiliser bomb plot is listed as British born, however he is reported elsewhere as being Algerian by birth, moving to the UK at the age of 5; Vasagar, J, (2007), “The Five Who Planned to Bomb UK Targets” Guardian Unlimited, Monday April 30th 2007, accessed online 13/11/07,,2068835,00.html : BBC News “Profile: Anthony Garcia” BBC News website, Monday 30th April 2007, accessed online 13/11/07 ).

[22] AIVD, (2006), “Violent Jihad in the Netherlands: Current Trends in the Islamist Terrorist Threat” The Hague: General Intelligence and Security Service

[23] Both of these are topics covered together by Taarnby, M, (2005), “Recruitment of Islamist Terrorists in Europe: Trends and Perspectives” Danish Ministry of Justice

[24] US Department of State, (1995), “Patterns of Global Terrorism” cited p137 in6.

[25] Home Office, (2006), “Report of the Official Account of the Bombings in London in 7th July 2005” London: The Stationery Office

[26] Taarnby Jensen, M, (2006), “Jihad in Denmark: An Overview and Analysis of Jihadi Activity in Denmark 1990-2006” Danish Institute for International Studies: Copenhagen; Vesterkopi

[27] pp38-39 in22.

[28] p9 in Vidino, L, (2007), “Current Trends in Jihadi Networks in Europe” Terrorism Monitor, vol.5, Issue 20; October 25th 2007; pp8-11

[29] p73 in Neumann, P, (2006), “Europe’s Jihadist Dilemma” Survival, Vol.48, No.2; pp71-84

[30] Chapter 3 in22.

[31] p579 in Vidino, L, (2007), “The Hofstad Group: The New Face of Terrorist Networks in Europe” Studies in Conflict and Terrorism, Vol.30; pp579-592

[32] p415 in Kirby, A, (2007), “The London Bombers as “Self-Starters”: A Case Study in Indigenous Radicalization and the Emergence of Autonomous Cliques” Studies in Conflict and Terrorism, Vol.30; pp415-428

[33] Sageman, M, (2004), “Understanding Terror Networks” Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press

[34] These included Said Mansour in Denmark and Omar Abu Bakri of al-Muhajiroun in London.

[35] Summers, C, & Casciani, D, (2007), “Fertiliser Bomb Plot: The Story” BBC News Home Affairs, 30 April 2007; accessed online 12/11/07

[36] Clark, P, (2007), “Operation Crevice: MPS Statement” Metropolitan Police Service; accessed online 12/11/07

[37] p8 in Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security, (2006), “Review of Security and Counter Terrorism Legislation” Canberra: Commonwealth of Australia

[38] Evans, J, (2007), “Intelligence, Counter-Terrorism and Trust” Address to the Society of Editors by the Director General of the Security Service; “A Matter of Trust” conference; Manchester, 5th November 2007; accessed online 13/11/07

[39] p9 in28.

[40] For Hoffman home-grown terrorists are strictly part of the unaffiliated network, this being their defining feature, however usage of the term generally has so far been liberal and not limited to one (problematic) definitional dimension.

[41] As a possible example see The Associated Press, (2007), “Man Shot Dead Attacking Amsterdam Police Had Mental Problems, Possible Terrorism Link” International Herald Tribune, October 15th 2007; accessed online 13/11/07

[42] This social psychological interpretation of processes of radicalisation and jihadisation is based upon accounts given by Silber & Bhatt18, the AIVD22 and Sageman.33

[43] Roy, O, (2003), “EuroIslam: The Jihad Within” National Interest, March 22nd 2003

[44] DurodiĆ©, B, (2007), “Home-grown Nihilism – The Clash Within Civilisations” in Cornish, P, (ed) “Britain and Security” London: The Smith Institute

[45] p10 in.18 Interestingly a change in expectations implies that ‘terrorism’ is already justified in the minds of newcomers to radical Islamist groups, to an extent undermining the importance ascribed by the NYPD authors to so-called ‘spiritual sanctioners’ for providing justification. Nevertheless identification of such roles does draw attention to the existence and importance of status systems and social support and encouragement within jihadi subcultures.

[46] p70 in26.

[47] See Castle, S, (2004), “Bombing of Muslim School linked to Murder of Film-Maker” The Independent, 9th November 2004; accessed online 13/11/07

[48] p14 in AIVD, (2005), “Annual Report 2004” The Hague: General Intelligence and Security Service

[49] US Department of State (2006), “Country Reports on Terrorism 2006” chapter 2, accessed online 30/10/07

[5049] p13 in48.

[51] The importance of international links has recently been emphasised once more in a so called ‘home-grown’ case. As Der Spiegel reports, “Investigators [working under Operation Alberich, which uncovered a plot in Germany in September this year] believe that the trips abroad are one of the keys to understanding this case,” (Stark, H, “The Fourth Man: Suspect in German Bomb Plot Tells His Story” Der Spiegel, November 15th 2007; accessed online 16/11/07,1518,517609,00.html ). The account so far of the German plot also shows overall remarkable conformity to the ‘usual’ patterns of radicalisation and jihadisation.

Note: Perspectives on Terrorism invites a diversity of opinions to be presented in articles. The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Perspectives on Terrorism or the Terrorism Research Initiative.