The situation in light of the Russian-Ukrainian war is pushing terrorism to penetrate Western societies, in addition to the processes of political and social polarization between the right and the left, which push these organizations to penetrate Europe, with the spread of social media facilitating the dissemination of their ideas.
Push and pull drivers
The North Atlantic Treaty Organization’s (NATO) “Counter-Terrorism Reference Curriculum” talked about the basic factors that contributed significantly to the emergence of terrorism and extremism, most notably the “push drivers”, which identify the structural reasons that motivate individuals to engage in violence, and the “pull drivers”, which refer to what makes belonging to an extremist group attractive, such as the drive to feel brotherhood, gain political or material advantage, or enhance reputation, in addition to the personal drivers that make some individuals more vulnerable to extremism than their peers, such as suffering from a psychological disorder or a difficult life experience.
The curriculum noted that terrorist groups have excelled greatly in manipulating these drivers and using them to their advantage, often resorting to attrition, intimidation, provocation, and disruption of security and the status quo to exploit vulnerable individuals.
Ahmed Abu Youssef, a researcher specializing in regional studies, confirmed that terrorism can permeate Western societies for many reasons, including the export of terrorist elements from conflict zones in the Middle East.
In exclusive statements to the Reference, he explained that terrorists may find a fertile environment in Europe, especially with the marginalization faced by refugees and people from eastern societies, who can easily be attracted to join terrorist organizations and implement terrorist plans.
Inclusion of non-European backgrounds
In order to confront the phenomenon, Abu Youssef stressed the need to form specialized committees in Western societies to study how to integrate people with Middle Eastern or non-European backgrounds into their societies, as well as the need to pass laws whose main goal is to prevent discrimination in all forms against Western societies. He noted that “Islamophobia” or Islamist terrorism may be a gateway to attracting people or to the spread of extremist organizations, and therefore laws must be enacted and approved to prevent such incidents that are widespread in Europe.
Wars as a way to appear
A report issued by the Islamic Military Counter Terrorism Coalition under the title “The Reality of Terrorism and Its Trends in European Union Countries” indicated that terrorism practiced by ISIS or other organizations, or individuals who embrace their ideas and act inspired by them, has been experienced by EU countries, as there is growing concern about recruitment operations inside prisons and the threat emanating from the released prisoners who are supporters of al-Qaeda and ISIS.