Where terrorism is coming from

A recent detailed study reveals a significant difference in the causation of acts of terrorism between those immigrant Muslims — or sons of immigrants — when it is high among those who come from localities of high Muslim density or low from those whose families are well scattered among the host population. Birmingham, for example, gives rise to far more terrorist acts than Manchester. Even though the latter has a far higher population, its immigrant homes are far more widely distributed.

In the former case a prone individual is exploited by extremist networks and groups around him — as well as being trained and given resources — and taken onwards to feelings of greater intensity. In the latter case, without the ‘support’ from others, planned projects tend to falter along the way.

The report, appearing in this week’s Sunday Times, was written by David Anderson, until recently an independent reviewer of terrorist legislation. He covers almost 400 offences and 269 individual convictions from 1998 to 2016.

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