The Radicalization of Diasporas and Terrorism: A Joint Conference by the Rand Corporation and the Center for Security Studies, Eth Zurich

The Radicalization of Diasporas and Terrorism: A Joint Conference by the Rand Corporation and the Center for Security Studies, Eth Zurich

The Radicalization of Diasporas and Terrorism: A Joint Conference by the Rand Corporation and the Center for Security Studies, Eth Zurich

The Radicalization of Diasporas and Terrorism: A Joint Conference by the Rand Corporation and the Center for Security Studies, Eth Zurich

Synopsis

Certain Diaspora communities, frustrated by a perceived war against the Muslim world, have turned against their adopted homelands, targeting the government and its people by supporting terrorist attacks against Western countries through recruitment, fundraising, and training. The problem is exacerbated by the open borders of globalization. Emerging threats must be identified without alienating Diaspora communities and thereby playing into terrorist hands.

Excerpt

The conference proceedings reported here are the result of a twoday conference on “Radicalization, Terrorism and Diasporas” cosponsored by the Center for Security Studies (CSS) at eth Zurich——Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Zurich, Switzerland; and by the rand Corporation. the conference was held on 30-31 March 2006 in RAND’s Washington, D.C. office and brought together a dozen analysts and academicians from some seven countries with expertise in Diaspora and migrant communities; processes of radicalization and terrorist recruitment; and terrorist organization, tactics, and targeting; together with an audience consisting of U.S. government officials and state and local law enforcement personnel.

The conference was undertaken as a part of a project titled, “The Early History of al-Qa’ida.” Its purpose is to better understand the evolution and development of Al Qa’ida during its early years in order to anticipate how current and future like-minded Salafi-jihadist movements might emerge, mature, and develop. Through the presentation of academic papers along with discussion in plenary session and accompanying question and answer opportunities, we attempted to compare and contrast the experiences of select global Diaspora case studies with trends in recruitment and radicalization undertaken by Al Qa’ida among Muslim Diasporas in Europe and other parts of the world.

The overall project, within which this conference was funded, is being conducted within the Intelligence Policy Center (IPC) of the rand National Security Research Division (NSRD). nsrd conducts research and analysis for the Office of the Secretary of Defense, the Joint Staff, the Unified Combatant Commands, the defense agencies, the Department of the Navy, the Marine Corps, the U.S. Coast Guard, the U.S. Intelligence Community, allied foreign governments, and foundations. the conference proceeding was cosponsored by the Center for Security Studies (CSS) at eth Zurich, a Swiss academic center of competence that specializes in research, teaching, and information services in the fields of international relations and security policy.

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