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The Buccinasco Pentiti: A Unique Case Study of Radicalization

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Recently many scholars have focused their attention on the dynamics of radicalization, de-radicalization, and disengagement, yet most studies are based on indirect and/or data which is difficult to verify. An exception comes from Italy, where authorities have recently benefited from the insights of two former members of an al Qaeda-affiliated Tunisian network. The two have voluntarily described to authorities the process and factors that led them to their radicalization and encouraged them to abondon the network. Based on thousands of pages of their unpublished confessions, the article provides a case study of radicalization that is rich in detail and uniquely reliable.

Keywords: Islam; Italy; Tunisia; de-radicalization; disengagement; radicalization; terrorism

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Center for Security Studies, Eidgenossische Technische Hochschule (ETH) Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland

Publication date: July 1, 2011


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