An Ideological War on Terror: Deradicalization Programs and the Future of Counterterrorism
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The rise of radical Islamist extremism has plagued the international community throughout the 21st century. More than 32,000 people died as a direct results of terrorist activity in 2014 alone, and that year terrorism cost the global economy $52.9 billion. The international community has employed a variety of tactics to try to stop radical Islamist groups from continuing operations or growing in influence, but traditional efforts fail to address the ideological threat posed by radical Islamism. Programs aiming to deradicalize individuals with extremist affiliations seek to fill this gap by reducing the legitimacy of radical organizations and their ideology, which reduces their capacity to operate. Since deradicalization in the context of radical Islamism is a relatively recent concept, I examine both successful and unsuccessful programs in order to determine the elements required to implement a program that effectively graduates deradicalized individuals.