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Criminals becoming terrorists creating a 'gangster jihad'

The lines between terrorism and criminality are becoming blurred as an increasing number of former criminals join the Islamic State group and create a "gangster jihad," according to a British report released Tuesday.

Nearly 60 per cent of European jihadists studied by researchers had been jailed previously, in essence creating a "super-gang," said the report from the International Centre for the Study of Radicalization and Political Violence at King's College London.

Once recruited by IS, these people easily transition to committing violence for a different cause, making the group different from other Islamist organizations such as al-Qaida, which often radicalized students, intellectuals or other previously non-violent individuals to carry out its violent aims, the report said.

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