The Italian jihadist scene with its fluid profile and features has been analyzed in different occasions by academics and experts. Their publications however, were conducted with a qualitative approach and, apart from some real cases description and analysis, there is a vacuum in the quantitative research that needs to be filled.
This short paper is aimed at statistically analyzing data coming from some possible risk factors of violent jihadist radicalization proposed by the prevailing academic literature; the aim is to fill the abovementioned void in the research and promote a more thorough analysis to verify whether there are common denominators that can alert social workers and/or security services about individuals on the path of violent radicalization.
The research is limited in sheer numbers and is related only to foreign terrorist fighters (FTFs) involved in the Syrian – Iraqi conflict. The data were collected by the author regarding individuals listed by the Italian government in the FTF national record, with information collected through open sources. The principal goal of this paper is to verify the subsistence of shared radicalization risk factors in the Italian FTFs milieu, highlighting the possible trajectories exploited by jihadist recruiters and propagandists.
However, it is necessary to highlight the fact that this work is only a theoretical hypothesis, which necessarily has to be validated by other studies with a broader analysis sample. Furthermore, validation results should not be taken literally, being clear that a theoretical model remains disconnected from real case scenarios with their unique psychological, personal and societal dynamics.