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In her article, Klausen called for new measures to combat gangster jihadists.“More needs to be done to control jihadi gangs in prison and the networks linking radicalized members inside and outside prisons,” she wrote.It is clear that gangs, guns, drugs and violence are interconnected. When communities assess their gun violence problem, they often uncover a gang violence problem.
Wien Professor of International Cooperation, uses the term "gangster jihadism" to describe the nexus between the criminal underworld and radical Islamic groups.
This new alliance marks a major shift in the approach Islamic extremists to lure new members.
In the past, young European men were radicalized in mosques and via the internet.
"We have a growing gang problem in Europe and gangs have increasingly taken on a politicized nature," Klausen said in an interview.
She urges law enforcement to intervene by using a community policing model in particular locations and believes foreign fighters should be prosecuted for crimes committed outside Europe.
“Investigating and highlighting such atrocious crimes may help turn young people against the narrative of terrorist groups as defenders of Islam,” she wrote.In the past, she said jihadist groups would have spurned these recruits because their criminal activity violates the tenets of Islam.But the success of law enforcement in cracking down on the groups' traditional methods of recruitment has forced them to look for alternative jihadist breeding grounds.The positions are being offered in the context of the European Research Council (ERC) Advanced Grant-funded project “Gangs, Gangsters, and Ganglands: Towards a Global Comparative Ethnography” (GANGS).Successful candidates will complete a Ph D under the supervision of the project’s Principal Investigator, Dennis Rodgers, Research Professor in the Department of Anthropology and Sociology."We haven't previously seen this overlap between street gangs and politicized violence."Klausen's article was included in the book, "2019: Challenges in Counter-Extremism" published by the Tony Blair Institute for Global Change.Blair, the former prime minister of the United Kingdom, wrote the forward.Gang members engage in a higher level of serious and violent crime than their non-gang-involved peers.Research about gangs is often intertwined with research about gun violence and drug crime.Klausen said the gangs include Muslims and non-Muslims and typically operate in disadvantaged neighborhoods in Europe's medium-sized cities.Their members commit crimes ranging from petty theft and drug offenses to murder."You're talking about street-side thugs who start out joining the gangs and then move into jihadism," Klausen said.