Media: most of the jihadists in Europe have a criminal past

MOSCOW, 11 Dec — RIA Novosti. A new report from the International centre for the study of radicalization (STATES), located in London, shows that two-thirds of radical Islamists (jihadists) in Europe have a criminal past, writes British newspaper Independent.

According to this report, the majority of jihadists known to the police before they commit radical actions because of their criminal record. The Director STATES Peter Neumann (Peter Neumann) explains the radicalization of criminals what they see in Jihad “atonement”.

“It gives criminals a moral justification for what they always did, only now they will go to Paradise,” the newspaper quoted Neumann.

The Director STATES notes that people with criminal records are much easier to decide on violent acts than those who have behind no criminal record.

“In many cases in the past someone could be a student activist and start to support jihadist ideology, but would then become a big problem to persuade that person to commit a brutal attack, and to kill someone. And these criminals used to violence, so the gap between extremism and violent extremism is much less,” said Neumann.

As the newspaper notes, the report shows STATES that the “criminal and terrorist networks across Europe merge and create a dangerous brand of Jihad, for which violence is not only Holy work, but a way of life.” According to Neumann, because of this “vicious circle of crime and terrorism” the security services of the European countries find it increasingly difficult to identify radicalized people.

In recent years, Europe has witnessed a number of terrorist attacks. There are an increasing number radicalizing people who want to go to the Middle East to join the terrorist organization “Islamic state” (IG, is prohibited in Russia). Security of European countries routinely carry out arrest on suspicion of preparing terrorist attacks.