Lessening the Risk of Refugee Radicalization

Over 4.5 million Syrians have fled the region since the civil war began. Just over 2,000 have been taken in by the United States and thousands more have been recommended for admission through United Nations programs.

Many people fear that refugees will radicalize and supply militants to groups like ISIS as well as plan attacks in the United States—but historical cases show that is not inevitable. How does radicalization happen within refugee groups? What are the contributing factors, and how can the U.S. government work to mitigate these factors and safeguard the homeland?

In this February 16th congressional briefing, senior political scientist Barbara H. Sude discusses:

  • Historical examples of radicalization among refugee groups in several countries
  • Factors that can increase the risk that refugee populations will radicalize
  • Measures to reduce the risk of radicalization, such as working with overseas communities and providing options for refugee youth
  • Considerations for policymakers and legislators.