A Future for the Young

Options for helping Middle Eastern Youth Escape the Trap of Radicalization

by Cheryl Benard

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In the battle of ideas that has come to characterize the struggle against jihadist terrorism, a sometimes neglected dimension is the personal motivations of those drawn into the movement. This paper reports the results of a workshop held in September 2005 and sponsored by RAND’s Center for Middle East Public Policy and the Initiative for Middle East Youth. Workshop participants discussed the issue of why young people enter into jihadist groups and what might be done to prevent it or to disengage members of such groups once they have joined.

The research described in this report was conducted by the RAND National Security Research Division (NSRD).

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