There’s been a good deal of attention paid lately to the idea of homegrown terrorists, and concern among some that American Muslims are being radicalized by al-Qaeda or its affiliates.
And it’s no wonder: There’s a vast universe of jihadist Web sites. And there are known cases in which Americans have made connections with figures such as Anwar al-Aulaqi, the Yemeni American cleric who said he was a confidant to the alleged shooter in the 2009 Fort Hood attack.
But a new study from the Rand Corporation finds that, in Europe at least, there’s little evidence that terrorist groups operating outside the continent try to directly recruit Muslims. Rather, European militants come to be radicalized independently and then seek out training from al-Qaeda or its affiliates.
“If any form of loosely defined recruitment exists, it is because the ‘applicant’ reached out to the ‘employer,’ and not the other way around,” the report concludes.