Can terrorists be de radicalized?
Back in 2011 as the ISIS grew stronger in Syria by ceasing territory finding wives for the fighters as to provide them with human shield was inevitable. Therefore many women were radicalized in their home countries including the former British citizen Shamima Begum.
In 2015 Shamima at the age of 15 left for Syria and got married to an ISIS fighter. In 2019 Shamima Begum was found in a refugee camp. Today her husband is in jail while all her children have died therefore she wants to return to the UK. Shamima Begum had earlier been stripped off of her British citizenship. Now the British apex court has refused to allow Shamima to return to the UK. Shamima who once was a British citizen is now seen as a threat to UK’s national security. According to an estimate almost 500 women had left their home countries to acquire the status of ISIS brides. One other example of such ISIS brides is Hoda Muthana an American born woman who once told her supporters to spill all their blood. She now regrets being a part of a hateful ideology. Hoda had left her home in Alabama to join ISIS in 2014 later she was stripped off of her US citizenship. In 2019 Hoda regretted being denied US citizenship and stated.
Similarly Shamima also wants to return to the UK. Earlier the British Home department suggested that Shamima could apply for a Bangaldeshi Citizenship until the age of 21. Today Shamima is 21 and Bangladesh also does not want her. ISIS brides have now become country less as their home countries refuse to accept these highly radicalized women. No wonder accepting these highly radicalized women could result in more terrorist attacks. However, human rights activists still claim that Shamima should be given the right to share what impelled her join the ISIS. Today country less ISIS wives have once again raised the old question can terrorists be de radicalized? The world of counter terrorism is still staggered over the idea of what makes harmless members of the society to accept hateful extremist ideologies. Furthermore de radicalizing or convincing people to abandon their extremist mindsets seems tricky. Therefore Science journalist Michael Price has questioned the efficacy of hundreds of de radicalized programs established worldwide. Price highlights that little evidence in the United States suggests that these de radicalization programs actually work. . Price fears that applying wrong methods could mean shielding a high- risked person from authorities consequently making the officials and people in his community less vigilant. Moreover, Price has identified the need to distinguish between De radicalization versus disengagement. In Price‘s view there is no precise way to know when a de radicalization case is finished or to measure recidivism. Therefore it is unwise to only consider recidivism as going back to the same terrorist group. Price suggests that recidivism could mean going back to the same ideology or adopting a new violent ideology and a different form of crime. Perhaps little evidence suggesting the success of de radicalization programs have inspired scholars including Price to once again debate over the concept of de radicalization. Pessimism pertaining to de radicalization could continue to impel both western democracies and less developed world to consider ISIS brides a threat to their national security.
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