Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Granting Department

Government and International Affairs

Major Professor

Abdelwahab Hechiche


Global Terrorism, Islamic Extremists, National Security, Population Studies, Threat Analysis


Western nations continue to face potential attacks from violent extremist organizations waging a campaign of violence in the name of political Islam. Though these attacks are traditionally labeled as originating from abroad, leaders of these extremist organizations are utilizing a new tactic of radicalizing native or naturalized citizens from within Western countries in an effort to bypass the massive defensive security apparatus Western governments have put in place since the September 11 attacks.

These undistinguishable citizens turned radical jihadists, better known as homegrown terrorists, represent a clear and present danger to the security of the United States. In an effort to understand the problem, this paper seeks to identify patterns common amongst these individuals and addresses the question "How does a Muslim youth become radicalized into a homegrown terrorist?" This research will use a case study approach to identify patterns of radicalization in convicted homegrown terrorist and test the hypothesis that a failure of integration will cause some Western Muslim youth to radicalize and in some cases, commit violent crimes of terrorism.