Terrorism and violent extremism (VE) have become perhaps the most widely used terms in recent times. When talking about VIE (Violent Islamist Extremism) we are not dealing with a monolithic block. This brings about more complex responses. The author contributes to the knowledge of radicalism and of the VIE phenomenon in the Albanian Balkans, a critical area for the interests of NATO and consequently the implications in terms of security. This article aims to present an analysis of internal and external factors that have contributed to the development of the phenomenon: the economic, social and ideological aspects, and the areas most affected by this issue. Various factors that are encouraging the recruitment of Albanians by jihadist movements are different and intertwined with each other. Pointing the finger just to one factor would lead to a partial understanding of the reality, and consequently to an ineffective response. In most areas, the State is almost inexistent: investments in education are seen only as a form of business, thus lowering the level of education; unemployment of young people, who comprise the majority of the population, is very high; corruption is part of the modus vivendi; and we face patriarchal societies emerging from isolation and totalitarianism, still in transition from an economic, political, and social point of view. This is the ground that hides the roots of the fundamentalist movements, which are not necessarily violent (the distinction between these movements is very important in the search for answers to counter VIE).