Jihadist Hotbeds – Understanding Local Radicalisation Processes


On 12 October 2016, the European Foundation for Democracy hosted a policy briefing to discuss the latest publication: "Jihadist Hotbeds - Understanding Local Radicalisation Processes".

Arturo Varvelli is ISPI Senior Research Fellow and Head of Terrorism Program. He has extensively published on Italian-Libyan relations; Libyan domestic and foreign politics; Italian foreign policy in the Middle East; jihadist groups in North Africa. He is lecturer of History and Institution of the Middle East at IULM University in Milan and Visiting Fellow at the European Foundation for Democracy (EFD) in Brussels. In 2006, he earned a PhD in International History at the University of Milan, where he worked as lecturer in History of International Relations. He takes part to research projects commissioned by research office of the Italian Chamber of Representatives and Senate, the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs as well as European Parliament and Commission.

Guy Van Vlierden works as journalist for Belgium's largest daily newspaper, Het Laatste Nieuws. He has a special interest in political and religious extremism and investigated infiltrations by Turkish far-right groups in Belgian political parties. Since 2001 he has focused on radical Islam, and in 2009 he gained international interest for his interview with Moez Garsallaoui, a prominent Western fighter in the ranks of al-Qaeda and the Afghan Taliban. Besides his publications in Het Laatste Nieuws, he also covers the topic in English on his private blog Emmejihad. Recently, he wrote contributions for specialized media such as Terrorism Monitor (The Jamestown Foundation) and CTC Sentinel (Combating Terrorism Center at West Point)

Valentina Colombo is Senior Research Fellow at the European Foundation for Democracy (EFD), Brussels. Her research focuses on democratisation in the Middle East and North Africa. She is particularly focused on liberal intellectuals in the region and the role of women in politics. She teaches geopolitics in the Islamic world at the European University in Rome. As of July 2014, she is also a Senior Analyst at Wikistrat. She has previously taught Islamic Studies and Arabic language and literature at Bologna University. She regularly appears in Italian and international media. She has published books including Tunisia - A nascent democracy under siege, 2015; Christianity in the Arab World, 2013; Forbidden in the name of Allah, 2010, and Islam: Instructions for use, 2009.