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As increasing numbers of Australians have traveled to Iraq and Syria to fight as “foreign fighters” for Islamist terror groups, the government and civil society have been setting up “deradicalization programs.” These programs seek to prevent or disengage “at-risk” individuals from radical ideologies. This paper surveys Australia’s existing programs and how their efforts relate to the foreign fighter phenomenon. After presenting background on Islamic extremism in Australia and Australian efforts to combat radicalization, it will survey Australian deradicalization programs and analyze how they address radicalization in general and the foreign fighter phenomenon in particular. It concludes that Australian deradicalization programs are currently inadequate in the long-term and recommends closer government cooperation with community leaders.
** The views expressed in this publication are solely those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the International Institute for Counter-Terrorism (ICT).
This article is part of the RED-Alert project, funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation Programme under grant agreement No 740688.