London knife attacks: a failure of deradicalisation and rehabilitation programs?

di Maria Luisa Maniscalco

Two years after the 2017 massacre, which saw eight people die at the hands of Islamic extremists, London Bridge was again the scene of a terrorist attack. Two people were killed and eight injured. The November 29, 2019 knifing attack was performed by Usman Khan, born in the United Kingdom to immigrant parents from the Pakistan controlled Kashmir province. Khan who wore a fake kamikaze belt was first blocked by bystanders and then killed by the police.


In the next few years in Europe the problem of violent radicalisation could become more urgent and without adequate attention and long-term policies the risk of a polarisation of our societies increases with consequent responses dictated by contingencies. This article starts from the case study of the UK that, despite its long history and experience in the fight against terrorism and in the prevention of radicalisation, has lately tested its fragility and permeability in the face of potential sudden attacks. The UK however is not the only country in Europe with a failing security and monitoring apparatus regarding terrorists. The main aim is to pave the way to  a growing interest in new policies and measures of rehabilitating and disengaging former terrorists.

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