In recent years there have been a number of terrorist attacks linked to the Islamic State terrorist group or Daesh, as the acronym in Arabic is known to refer to them or, ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria). These attacks, mostly perpetrated in the same Muslim countries, are having a particular impact in Europe.

And the fact is that the Daesh has militants on a transnational level, especially from Westerners converted to Islam , or from second or third generation European citizens with Muslim roots.Let us remember that Arabic is not synonymous with Muslim. So any kind of ethnic group can belong to the Daesh.

What is the Daesh?

The Daesh or Islamic State is a terrorist group that was formed in the year 2014 as a result of the Syrian crises and the endless war in Iraq, where the supreme leader of the Abu Bakr Al Baghdadi formation declared the establishment of the “Islamic Caliphate” in Mosul, Iraq.

For other academics, the concept of a terrorist group is misused, since they are an organization with social, religious, administrative and territorial identity. Although these extremists are currently being eliminated, they even created a corridor between Syria and Iraq to expand around the world, controlling important areas of both countries.

Returning to how the Daesh is formed, its members share a common profile: inhabitants of Western and Eastern Europe radicalize themselves through a false interpretation of Islam and by taking up again the precepts of “Holy War” used in the Crusades. Therefore, can the process of radicalization be interrupted? Are individuals who have been terrorists reformable?In this article we analyze it.

How do you detect this type of case?

Considering the complexity of the issue, the main problem is how to detect the above-mentioned radicalization process, as it is called by the authorities and security forces.

The Muslim community is integrated into Western societies, and outside their homes most appear to be culturally assimilated. The complexity lies in the moments of “door-to-door”. That is, in their most intimate environments and away from any kind of surveillance.

The recent terrorist attacks signed by the Daesh link this integration with radicalization, based in some cases on concealment and false appearance. Therefore, according to expert sociologists it is much easier to tackle the problem through education and prevention .

Is it possible to re-educate a member of Daesh?

A difficult question to resolve. How do you know if you can re-educate an individual of the Daesh? Luckily, there are some possibilities of long experience but with effective results. We are referring to cultural associations and many other integration organisations, whose mission is to get misguided people back on track.

At present there are several Muslim associations dedicated especially to the reintegration of these individuals into society . To mention a few examples, the Banr Islamic Foundation and the Ibn Battuta Foundation, where the former was set up by two brothers who wanted to be part of the Daesh to fight in Syria.

The second is of a cultural nature, forming part of the process of socialization of young people and Muslim families, although the aim is to serve any community outside the European Community and thus ensure that it adapts to avoid discriminatory acts, racism or humiliation.

The Ibn Battuta Foundation works closely with local security forces, administrations and at a national level is highly regarded, working side by side with justice and social services.

Can you re-educate a Daesh terrorist? The tools have recently been put into practice by countries like Australia or England, where they have arrested several fundamentalists who fought on Daesh’s side, but who for legal purposes are still considered nationals with civil rights.

The last most mediatic case was that of a 16-year-old German teenager who was arrested in Iraq by special anti-terrorist units in a raid on Daesh. She had recently converted to Islam and her name has been withheld for security reasons. The German authorities do not want to give up on the victim and psychological processes have already been initiated to return to normal life.