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Returning Foreign Terrorist Fighters: A Catalyst for Recidivism Among Disengaged Terrorists

Counter Terrorist Trends and Analyses

Abstract

This paper posits that returning foreign terrorist fighters could play the role of recruiters, propagandists and trainers for future terrorist attacks and therefore serve as a catalyst for recidivism or reactivation of disengaged terrorists. These developments could increase the risk of disengaged terrorists re-connecting with their former networks and activities, in comparison to de-radicalized terrorists. To mitigate this risk, a more coherent counter-terrorism approach that covers de-radicalization, disengagement, re-engagement and re-radicalization should be adopted.