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Islamic Radicalization in California

This paper is part of the Islamic Radicalization Index (IRI) at the International Institute for Counter-Terrorism (ICT), located at the Interdisciplinary Center in Herzliya, Israel. The IRI consists of articles, essays, opinion pieces and briefing notes, written by ICT staff, fellows and interns dealing with both the theory and particulars of Islamic radicalization. Therefore, this paper has a similar structure to other papers in the IRI. Specifically, this paper aims to document the history of Islamic Radicalization in California and the government’s response to the phenomenon. This is in order to understand a unique phenomenon, not to single out the Muslim community.

The paper begins by outlining the importance of studying California and the demographics, diversity, socio-economic conditions, mosques, organizations, as well as political participation of Muslims in California. The paper then sketches a theoretical approach to radicalization. This is followed by case studies of homegrown terrorists in California. Lastly, the government’s response to radicalization in California is outlined. The final section of the paper summarizes the main findings about Islamic radicalization in California.

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