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Why immigration is not to blame for terrorism – global study

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Immigration is not a source of terrorism in any way, a new global research from the University of Warwick has concluded.

The study Does Immigration Induce Terrorism? published in the Journal of Politics, is based on an analysis of terrorism in and migration flows between 145 countries between 1970 and 2000.

The research was designed to establish whether migration helps spread terror attacks between countries.

On one hand, the study found that terrorism can move from one terrorist-prone country to another via migration flows. On the other hand, it found that more migration could create a decrease in the number of terrorist attacks, not an increase.

The lead author, Vincenzo Bove, associate professor in the University’s department of politics and international studies (PAIS) said: “Terrorist organisations often exploit migrant networks and migrant communities as a recruitment pool.

“Therefore, even the enforcement of discriminate immigration laws on immigration from terror-prone states is not advisable if national security agencies and immigration authorities fail to identify the organisers of terrorism in the first place. We hope that policymakers will not enforce immigration laws in an indiscriminate way as this may lead to the loss of the positive impact of migration.”

Explaining why their findings shouldn’t be surprising, Dr Bove said: “When migrants move from one country to another they take new skills, knowledge and perspectives. These stimulate technological innovation and diffusion of new ideas and this in turn stimulates economic growth.

“If we subscribe to the belief that economic development is linked to a decrease in extremism then we should expect an increase in migration to have a positive effect.”

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