The growing numbers of terror attacks in Europe in recent times has made the concept of radicalization a sensitive phenomenon, most especially, Islamic radicalization. The activities of Islamic extremists and terrorists have been identified with a good number of European citizens, who have joined the Islamic State (IS) and engaged in acts of terror against their own citizens and governments. Radicalisation has been used as a weapon by the Islamic State to recruit some European citizens as its members in order to perpetuate its objectives in Europe. The objective of this project is to examine how the Islamic State has been able to radicalize some European citizens as its members and build its network across the continent. It seeks to critically analyse the influence of the Islamic State ideology on European citizens, which has consequently led and could further lead to the participation of some European citizens in terrorist engagements. This work seeks to respond to the puzzle: how is it possible for the Islamic State to secure the interest of some Europeans into terrorism, considering the distance between Europe and the Middle East and the high standard of living as well as education that is available in Europe? In this mini-dissertation, the relevance of the study is pointed out in today Europe as far as peace and security development of the continent is concerned. This research makes use of secondary sources of data collection to investigate the study and its theoretical analyses is drawn from social network and contagion theories in order to shed more light on the discourse of the radicalisation of European citizens as Islamic State members. Specifically, this mini-dissertation discusses a brief origin and objectives of the Islamic State, the ideological perspectives of the group, reasons behind the radicalization of Europeans citizens as well as channels of radicalizing European citizens.
Mini Dissertation (MA)--University of Pretoria, 2017.