Radicalisation in the Balkans

December 20, 2021

National Strategy for the Prevention and Countering of Terrorism: Serbia

The Strategy is based on principles and values enshrined in the Constitution, and is harmonized with valid legislation of the Republic of Serbia. The purpose and objectives of the Strategy are harmonized with the basic strategic documents in the Republic of Serbia in the field of security and countering of terrorism, in particular with the National Security Strategy of the Republic of Serbia.
December 20, 2021

Countering Violent Extremism Strategy: Montenegro

The Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) Strategy has been developed as part of the Government of Montenegro’s effort to effectively address the problems of radicalization and violent extremism. It represents an integral part of the Government of Montenegro’s multifaceted contribution to the global fight against terrorism in all forms and manifestations. It builds on and complements the national Strategy for the Prevention and Supression of Terrorism, Money Laundering and Terrorism Financing. It represents a response to the threat of radicalization to violence, violent extremism and in particular the problem of foreign terrorist fighters.
December 17, 2021

Strategy on Prevention of Violent Extremism and Radicalisation Leading to Terrorism

Strategic objectives determined under this strategic document aims to address the push and pull factors that influence the radicalization of the population, with special emphasis on the youth.
December 17, 2021

Joint Action Plan on Counter-Terrorism for the Western Balkans

To this effect, this Joint Action Plan outlines a concrete level of ambition and focus common to all Western Balkans partners, as well as related EU support in the area of Counter-Terrorism, including Preventing and Countering of Violent Extremism.
December 17, 2021

National CounterTerrorism Stratey of The Republic of Macedonia

With the present document the Republic of Macedonia seeks to coordinate the efforts of the ministries, governmental and nongovernmental institutions.
December 17, 2021

Strategy of Bosnia and Herzegozina for Preventing and Combating Terrorism

is important to emphasise that the Strategy is adopted at the time of intensifying security challenges on a global scale, including, among other, foreign terrorist fighters, violent extremism and crime and hate speech, abuse of the Internet for terrorist purpose.
December 17, 2021

Religious Radicalisation and Violent Islamist Extremism in Albania, Macedonia and Kosovo

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.
December 17, 2021

Country Profile: Albania

This Country Profile provides a brief overview of religious diversity and its governance in the above-named state.
December 17, 2021

The EU and other Stakeholders’ Prevention Strategies Towards VE in Albania

This policy paper focuses on the aptness of the EU and other stakeholders’ prevention strategies towards violent extremism in Albania.
December 17, 2021

The Status of Violent Extremism in Albania

This study is prepared in the framework of the project “Countering violent extremism in Albania – Persisting violent extremist forms and threats and the way forward to reinforced PVE”, supported financially by the Public Affairs Office of the US Embassy in Tirana.
December 16, 2021

Country Report: Bosnia and Herzegovina

This Country Report offers a detailed assessment of religious diversity and violent religious radicalisation in the above-named state. It is part of a series covering 23 countries (listed below) on four continents. More basic information about religious affiliation and state-religion relations in these states is available in our Country Profiles series. This report was produced by GREASE, an EU-funded research project investigating religious diversity, secularism and religiously inspired radicalisation.
December 16, 2021

Community Perspectives on the Prevention of Violent Extremism in Bosnia and Herzegovina

The purpose of this research was to identify common and distinct factors of resilience or vulnerability to violent extremism in Bosnian communities as well as the influence of key actors on those factors.
December 16, 2021

Making Sense of Extremism in the Bosnian Football Terraces

This paper presents an initial assessment of the results of a four month research project studying the Ultras1 groups in BiH
December 16, 2021

Stakeholders of (De)- Radicalisation in Serbia

This report aims to depict and analyze the context of radicalisation in Republic of Serbia in the period from 2000 to 2021 as a part of the Work Package “Mapping Stakeholders and Situations of Radicalisation” of the D.Rad project. It puts emphasis on the most important acts of violence that indicate current and future trends of radicalisation and de-radicalisation; provides insight into how the political elite and general public perceive extremism, radicalisation and violent threats; and maps out the agents and channels of radicalisation and de-radicalisation
December 16, 2021

Western Balkans Foreign Fighters and Homegrown Jihadis: Trends and Implications

Over 1,000 adult male foreign fighters, women, and minors from the Western Balkans spent time in Syria and Iraq and around 500 from the region are still there, including children born in theater. After seven years of fighting and at least 260 combat deaths, the last active jihadi unit from the Western Balkans in Syria and Iraq is a modest ethnic Albanian combat unit fighting with Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham in Idlib.
December 16, 2021

Civil Society Organisations in Preventing and Countering Violent Extremism in the Western Balkans

This regional mapping has been produced for the project: “Communities First: Creation of a civil society hub to prevent and counter violent extremism” (the Hub).
December 16, 2021

Radicalisation of Young Adults in the Balkan States:

The findings of this review suggest that approaches to deradicalisation should consider the importance of building communities through improved links between state-security, health, education and social care.
December 15, 2021

Issues of Radicalisation and Violent Extremism in Macedonia

The primary objective of this report is to examine the extent to which radicalisation and violent extremism is related to the practice of Islam. That said, the report does not qualify this type of extremism as the main security challenge in Macedonia due to the presence of other forms of extremism, such as nationalism. As the findings of the report will explain, religious extremism is often juxtaposed with nationalism.
December 14, 2021

Grassroots and Inhibitors on Radicalisation In North Macedonia

The paper aims to examine and provide deeper analysis of the current situation and most significant grassroot initiatives, which will be used as the basis for recommendations for improvement.
December 14, 2021

Role of Women in Preventing Radicalization and Violent Extremism

The aim of this paper is to inform the reader about the role of women in countering violent extremism and radicalization leading to terrorism (VERLT)
December 14, 2021

Violent Extremism in Kosova: What Community resilience Can Teach Us?

Challenges such as corruption, organized crime, poor education and health systems, lack of rule of law and poor governance have created an environment of hopelessness for better life in the country and have increased the level of the community’s vulnerability to extremism and radicalism in the country.
December 14, 2021

Violent Extremism: Definition and Terminology

This guide is an effort by the Kosovo Center for Security Studies (KCSS) to address, in cooperation with Kosovo media, the absence of a compendium of the terminology and practices, in order to properly respond to the need for more accurate and substantive surveys and reporting on the phenomenon of violent extremism in Kosovo. This guide is a product of KCCS’s research and of the longstanding experience of its researchers on recognizing and studying violent extremism and its origin in Kosovo, compiled with the support of the US Department of State and the US Embassy in Kosovo and through broad consultations with Kosovo media news desks, editors, journalists and local reporters from municipalities and the capital.
December 14, 2021

New Threats of Violent Extremism in Kosovo

Yet, despite Government’s willingness to take ownership of the issue, with no reintegration program in place and a public largely unwilling to welcome the foreign fighters back, their return and the continued radicalization on the ground are poised to become Kosovo’s greatest national security threat to date.
December 14, 2021

Kosovo’ s Response to Returnee from the WarZones

This report seeks to address a gap in the existing literature pertaining to the approaches of Kosovo in supporting rehabilitation/deradicalization as well as reintegration of the returnees. By focusing on institutional and policy infrastructure, this report sheds light into the relevance of having a holistic (government + non-government +community), coherent and coordinated response to meet the needs of the returnees and effectively address the challenges for their social and economic reintegration, as well as ideological disengagement.
December 14, 2021

Countering the Cultivation of Extremism in Bosnia and Herzegovina

This policy note explores a number of reasons why the BiH educational system is failing to proactively and preventively respond, and why this is a matter for concern.
December 14, 2021

Trends of Radicalisation Bosnia and Herzegovina

This report will examine the trends of radicalization in Bosnia and Herzegovina using two hotspots as that represent the manifestations of radicalization in currant Bosnia and Herzegovin
December 14, 2021

Stakeholders of (De)- Radicalisation in Bosnia and Herzegovina

This report examines the main radicalisation and de-radicalisation processes in Bosnia and Herzegovina, including main influences of certain individuals, institutions and groups who influencing these processes. It will also discuss types of radicalism that has been recorded in Bosnia and Herzegovina since 2001 and what are the main drivers of radicalism in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
December 14, 2021

National Approches to Extremism: KOSOVO

First signs of radical and extremist views in Kosovo were identified shortly after the war in 1999. Security agencies that were monitoring such individuals saw their numbers rising in the following years. Through a slow and long-term process, inflammatory imams exploited the existing grievances of Kosovo citizens to proselytise Salafi/Wahhabi forms of radical Islam.
December 14, 2021

Drivers of Youth Radicalisation in Bosnia and Herzegovina

The findings suggest that a range of factors including demographic characteristics, location, employment status, income, practicing of religion, and civic and political activism are associated with a degree of sympathy for violent extremism among youth in B.i.H.
December 13, 2021

Reintegration of Returining Foreign Fighters

Consequently, it is an immediate need for Kosovo to develop its own model based on local capacities and expertise, whlist taking into consideration specific cases and contexts. Rather, across the field there exists a conundrum of approaches to re-radicalisation that do not stem derive from a consultative and coordinated process.
December 13, 2021

Community Perspectives on Preventing Violent Extremism

This comparative synthesis report – building on four country case studies covering Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina Kosovo and Macedonia – was produced in the framework of a participatory research project on “Opportunities for Preventing Violent Extremism in the Western Balkans”. Together with with four local research partners, we explore why some communities are particularly affected by individuals inspired by and/or joining the Islamic State (IS) or similar violent extremist groups, while other communities may show greater resilience to the same phenomenon. The project also includes policy outreach activities, both nationally and internationally, as well as local dialogue initiatives, in cooperation with local stakeholders and affected communities, in order to explore and develop strategies to prevent violent radicalisation in the Western Balkans in light of the research findings.
December 13, 2021

Violent Extremism in The Western Balkans: Literature Review

This review will be also of interest to the international donor community who would be interested in funding research projects on violent extremism in the Western Balkans. This review aims to also map out new avenues of research, and it does so by identifying gaps that remain in current literature, as well as some shortcomings in existing research.
December 13, 2021

The Latent Dangers Of Islamist Extremism In the Western Balkans

The risks of terrorist attacks by Islamist extremists in Kosovo and the countries of the EU still seem to be limited. However, if the political and social crisis escalates in Kosovo and the conflict in the Middle East is exacerbated, which could also lead to a polarization of the public’s attitudes toward Islam, the danger of terrorist attacks by Islamist extremist can’t be ruled out any more in both to Kosovo and the EU countries.
December 13, 2021

Cultural Drivers of Radicalisation: Kosovo

This report examines the use of media objects by the proponents of the Islamic State in Kosovo to trigger radicalization in the country by weaving in past political social grievances of discrimination and underrepresentation and evoking deep-seated traumas caused by the 1998-1999 war in Kosovo to conjure up a rallying cry of defiance to secular authorities and to the democratic order.
December 13, 2021

The Islamic Narrative in Kosovo

Given the potency of the IS propaganda to catalyze the radicalization process and its role in inspiring individuals to commit themselves to violent extremism, KCSS compiled this report with the aim to identify, deconstruct, analyze, contextualize and interpret the IS propaganda targeting Kosovo Albanians as well as to reveal the tools employed to spread this narrative among different audiences in Kosovo. In Kosovo’s case, this report finds that the narrative, while laced with religious language and injected with Koranic verses, in essence speaks to local issues. It seeks to utilize local disgruntlement, past grievances as well as events pertaining to the 1998-1999 to mobilize its supporters in Kosovo.
December 13, 2021

Assessment of Violent Extremism in Serbia

This assessment dealt with the root causes and drivers of VE in Serbia. It identified four different types of extremism: a) religiously-motivated extremism, including foreign fighters in the Middle East; b) ideologically-motivated (right-wing) extremism, which included Serbian nationals traveling to fight for the pro-Russian side in Ukraine; c) ethnically-motivated extremism; and d) hooliganism. All four types recognized in this research are rooted, directly or indirectly, in the context cited above. We will here summarize all underlying factors and drivers shared by these seemingly distinct types of extremism.
December 13, 2021

Citizens Perception and Community Response on Returned Foreign Fighters

According to the Strategy, reintegration of potentially radicalized persons or at the stage of radicalization should be an inclusive and specific process. Further, the Malta Principles for Reintegrating Returning Foreign Terrorist Fighters highlights that effective assessments should be done, in order to design programs with individuals in mind whether they serve FTFs returnees, their families or vulnerable individuals.
December 13, 2021

Overview of research on far right extremism in the Western Balkans

Far-right extremism is widespread in the Western Balkans and exists in both mainstream political parties and extremist groups and individuals. Most of the literature focuses on Serbian nationalist groups, but far-right groups are also present in Bosnia Herzegovina, Montenegro, Kosovo, Albania and North Macedonia.
December 13, 2021

National Approaches to Extremism : BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA

Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) is a multi-ethnic country with a population of 3.5 million split along religious lines. The main Abrahamic religions are present in BiH and are the foundation for ethnic divisions in the country: Bosniak Muslims, Catholic Croats, Orthodox Christian Serbs, and a minority presence of Jews. It became independent from Yugoslavia.
December 13, 2021

National Approaches to Extremism : NORTH MACEDONIA

The Republic of North Macedonia has at least two characteristics that its citizens share: a complex ethnic structure and a strategically important geopolitical location in the Balkans. Most recently, as of 2017 and the formation of the new political government, the country reached two significant bilateral benchmarks: the Greco-Macedonian Prespa Agreement (17 June 2018) and the 2017 Treaty on Friendship, Good Neighbourliness and Cooperation with Bulgaria. This turn of events marks an important milestone in the Macedonian EU integration process.
December 10, 2021

Vulnerability and Resilience to Violent Extremism in Kosovo

By focusing on the legacy of two distinct communities in the last six years since the appearance of violent extremism in Kosovo and the trajectory of their conduct over this period, this study seeks to shed light on the central role that formal and informal structures embedded in the communities have in preventing and countering radicalisation and violent extremism
December 10, 2021

Women in Violent Extremism

Historically, women have been victims to a much greater degree than perprators of violence. The situation is gradually changing in the context of globalization and new security challenges. Recently, we have been witnessing an increase of women involvement in violent extremist organisations including participation in foreign conflicts. These organisations – often united around a common political or religious ideology – represents one of the many emerging complex threats to international peace and security. In order to create an effective response to this problem, it is initially important to depict why women increasingly join violent extremists organizations and what is their role within the groups. Research and experience to date have shown that women can enable, support, be victims of, counteract and prevent violent extremism. Their roles and experiences are not monochromatic but rather diverse and shaped by context, community and history.1 Women, albeit portrayed as passive agents, have been participating in recent terrorist organizations more frequently and in many different ways. Women have been participating in terrorist organizations as caretakers and care providers, they have been promoting violent extremist ideologies and have been recruiting other women to join violent extremist groups. Furthermore, there are sources implying that in some cases women have taken up weapons and are fighting in the ground.2 The purpose of this research is to shed light on the women from Kosovo who participate in violent extremists organizations and potential consequences deriving from their role. While the report will be solely focused on Kosovo, it will bring international knowledge in treating this phenomenon having in mind that Kosovo marks no general exception when compared to other countries. The goal is to particularly identify who these women are, why would they participate in these conflicts, and what is their role.
December 10, 2021

Foreign Terrorist Figthers in the Republic of North Macedonia

The issue that is a point of interest of this paper is the current situation of returning the foreign terrorist fighters to their home country or third countries and the security consequences that may arise if they are not treated properly.
December 7, 2021

Criminalization as Anxious and Ineffective Response to Foreign Fighters Phenomenon

I argue that this broader criminal law approach is difficult to justify from either preventive or reactive perspectives. It is, in fact, an anxious and ineffective response to foreign fighters phenomenon.
December 7, 2021

Understanding radicalisation in the Western Balkans

This research usefully informs policy development, providing practical recommendations, while also feeding into an overarching regional report, where broader linkages and key transnational issues that have been identified.
December 7, 2021

Right-wing Extremism in Serbia

There are strong movements at the far right of the political spectrum that strive to bring Serbs back to their alleged roots .
December 7, 2021

Returning Foreign Fighters From Syria and Iraq

This article provides an overview of the Kosovan experience dealing with returnee ‘foreign fighters’ from Syria and Iraq.
December 7, 2021

Responding to Violent Extremism in the Western Balkans

This report examines the drivers and mechanisms of Islamist and far-right radicalization and recruitment in the Western Balkans — specifically in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, North Macedonia, and Serbia.
December 7, 2021

Reshaping the Islamist Terrorist Phenomenon in South-Eastern Europe

This paper aims to shed new light on the phenomenon of Islamist violent extremism across the Western Balkans.
December 7, 2021

Overcoming the Main Challenges of the Penitentiary Systems in the Western Balkans region

The Regional Conference in Sarajevo provided an excellent forum for discussion and exchange of experiences and practices between the prison and probation practitioners and representatives of the Preventing and Countering Violent Extremism (P-CVE) Coordination bodies from all 6 Horizontal Facility Beneficiaries from the Western Balkans region.
HOPE RADICALISATION NETWORK