Extreme criminals: reconstructing ideas of criminality through extremist narratives

Lakhani, Suraj (2018) Extreme criminals: reconstructing ideas of criminality through extremist narratives. Studies in Conflict and Terrorism. ISSN 1057-610X

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There is a growing body of evidence to suggest that there has been a determined effort by al-Qaeda, and more recently Islamic State, to recruit petty and street criminals into their networks. Despite this, and increasing global concern, there exists very little scholarly literature exploring this phenomenon, particularly empirically grounded. This paper directly addresses this gap in research, and is one of the, if not the, first to present an analysis underpinned by qualitative empirical interview data, collected from former extremists and active grassroots workers in the United Kingdom. The article determines that through religious and social justifications offered to reduce moral concerns, extremists encourage criminals to continue, intensify and diversify their criminality, with intentions to fund violent extremist activity, or to create social unrest within society. Rather than attempting to change behaviour, this is about reconstructing criminals’ motivations; a consideration that has wider implications for counter-terrorism policy and operations.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Crime-terror nexus, crime, criminality, extremism, violent extremism, radicalisation, terrorism, Islamic State, al-Qaeda, Dar al-Harb
Schools and Departments: School of Law, Politics and Sociology > Sociology
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Depositing User: Suraj Lakhani
Date Deposited: 20 Mar 2018 16:16
Last Modified: 20 Mar 2018 16:16
URI: http://srodev.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/74541

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