HGT is that the terrorists themselves are born and raised, or at least have a strong affiliation to the West, but undergo a process of radicalisation, gradually adopting an extremist ideological framing. Less immediately apparent, but potentially more strategically significant, is the notion of autonomy and self-determination in the act – HGT is often conceptualised as being conceived and carried out independently of any direct control or chain of command. Some observers consider that being “native-born citizens” to the country attacked is the qualifying criteria for HGT. Others view the scope as more restrictive still, resulting from an identity crisis and a double sense of ‘non-belonging’ amongst second and third generation Muslims “born and raised in Europe”. The danger of such restrictive definitions are that those who were not born, nor hold citizenship, but are permanent residents of a country, as well as acts of non-European HGT, are potentially excluded – not to mention branding HGT as an entirely Islamic phenomenon. Within such limited definitions both Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVae and neo-fascist Anders Breivik may fail to make the category.
The most accurate HGT descriptions do not stress country of origin but instead that individuals experience their “formative phase, upbringing and cultural influence....in the Western world”. This distinction is particularly significant in an ever more globalised society where populations are increasingly transient, and identities and ‘ethno-scapes’ are themselves more transnational and multifaceted. An individual may feel an affinity to several countries simultaneously or attachment to none whatsoever
HGT does not miraculously occur and most instances are inspired, motivated, supported or even directly endorsed by extremist gro that poverty breeds radicalization