MOSCOW (Sputnik) — The report titled "Criminal Pasts, Terrorist Futures: European Jihadists and the New Crime-Terror Nexus" is due to be launched on Tuesday at 10 a.m. local time (9:00 GMT).
"A lot of analysts continue saying terrorists are middle or upper-class, Osama bin Laden was the son of a millionaire and the 9/11 attackers were students for instance. But I don’t think that doesn’t reflect the reality we have with ISIS [Daesh] – we need to rethink our strategy," Professor Peter Neumann, director of the ICSR at King’s College London told The Independent newspaper.
The professor added that among all the jihadists examined for the research, two thirds had not only criminal, but violent past.
According to the report, most of the jihadists are already known to the police before they commit radical acts because of their criminal record. Neumann explains the radicalized Islamist groups like the Daesh attract troubled young people with what analysts describe as "redemption narrative."
"Often there is a traumatic experience that acts as a wake-up call — sometimes a prison sentence, sometimes a friend being killed, in one case a brother’s diagnosis with cancer. They think: 'What am I doing? How do I redeem myself?' At that point they may already have a tenuous connection with jihadis. It’s a very common narrative," Neumann told the newspaper.
The Daesh terrorist group, known for numerous human rights atrocities, is banned in Russia and in many other countries across the globe.