The youngsters who are waging Jihad are just the tip of the iceberg

08 April 2015

Following reports that four teenagers have left the Swiss town of Winterhur to join Islamist militants in Syria, EFD Programme Director Ahmad Mansour is interviewed about radicalisation in Swiss newspaper Der Landbote. Ahmad states that radicalisation does not happen via the Internet alone, and that it is usually the case that an emotional connection is established between the youth and a charismatic preacher. He states that the ‘Lies!’ (‘Read!’) campaign might be one way in which the Swiss youngsters came into personal contact with Salafist groups. Ahmad emphasises that fact that youth from all social classes are vulnerable to radicalisation, and that the propaganda proliferated by ISIS is sophisticated and tailored to the interests and concerns of young people. He calls for radicalisation to be understood as more than a phenomenon which results in youngsters waging violent Jihad, and as one which also affects a great number who remain in Europe and hold values which are not compatible with democracy.

This interview is in German and can be read here.