Europe

UK report warns of link between criminals and terrorists

A British report says 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."

The report from the International Centre for the Study of Radicalization and Political Violence at King's College London released Tuesday says nearly 60 percent of European jihadists studied by researchers had been jailed previously, in essence creating a "super-gang."

Peter Neumann, the center's director, says former criminals "are the perfect fit" for IS.

He says: "Islamic State doesn't require any intellectual sophistication. It doesn't ask you to study religion. It makes it all like a computer game."

The researchers say a growing Islamic State offers criminals a chance at "redemption" without requiring a change in behavior.