Fearing the Western Muslim Foreign Fighter: The Connection between Fighting the Defensive Jihad and Terrorist Activity in the West
Roy van Zuijdewijn, J.H. de
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This thesis starts with the observation that many Western countries are worried about the high number of Western Muslim foreign fighters currently fighting in Syria. The concern is that these fighters might return radicalised, battle-hardened and determined to mount a terrorist attack. The purpose of this study is to investigate to what extent these fighters have indeed been directly involved in jihadist-inspired terrorist plots and attacks in Europe in the past. Instead of presenting a threat assessment of the risk posed by the current fighters, this thesis thus investigates historical examples of Western Muslim foreign fighting, focusing specifically on Afghanistan, Bosnia and Somalia.