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What motivates a Canadian jihadist?, by John Geddes (Macleans via HonestReporting)

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Aug. 15, 2016

Canadian academic study shows that religious zeal, and not loneliness or escapism, is what primarily motivates jihadists.

A new study based on interviews conducted over social media with foreign fighters in Iraq and Syria raises doubts about the commonly held notion that young men in North America and Europe who are drawn to violent Islamic extremism must be marginalized loners looking for an alternative to their dead-end lives.

The researchers are Lorne Dawson of University of Waterloo’s sociology and legal studies department, Amarnath Amarasingam of George Washington University’s program on extremism, and Alexandra Bain of St. Thomas University’s religious studies department.

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