The families of Dutch terrorist suspects: Risk and protective factors among parents and siblings

Elanie Rodermond*, Frank Weerman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
13 Downloads (Pure)


Newsmedia have regularly reported about acts of terrorism that involved members of the same family, but also about instances where one sibling becomes a terrorist, whereas the other becomes a successful, law-abiding citizen. The question is, then, to what extent family circumstances and individual risk factors impact on pathways towards these shared or divergent outcomes. To date, studies on the family characteristics of terrorist suspects have been hampered by a lack of empirical data, small sample sizes and non-representative samples. Using register data on individuals suspected of a terrorist offense in the Netherlands and their family members, the present study examines the demographic and socio-economic characteristics of the families, as well as criminal, employment and education careers of individual family members (parents and brothers/sisters). We compare these characteristics with those of two control groups: suspects of non-terrorist offenses and a matched sample from the population. We also compared the terrorist suspects with matched siblings who were not suspected of a terrorist offence. We will end with a discussion of both risk and protective factors that are present within these families and that can put members of the same family on different pathways.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)271-282
Number of pages12
JournalMonatsschrift fur Kriminologie und Strafrechtsreform
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2021

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© 2021 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Boston.


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