Jihadist recruitment is a small-world phenomenon that is best understood as a real world process of networked social contagion. European and western law enforcement face a proliferation problem as the overall number of jihadists militants has grown exponentially, and and new legal challenges arise in dealing with returning fighters and their families whose experiences in the Syrian insurgency make them, at the same time, in need of medical and social services and a known risk factor for domestic security. The next cycle in the global war on terror will be fought across borders and target the small-world networks of extremist veterans. It starts off with the jihadists regrouping and internally divided, but with a much more diffused and amplified threat picture. However, the ISIS vs. AQ division is of minor consequence for the threat picture, and the lull in Al Qaeda operations in Europe should not be taken as a sign of weakness. Taking the long view, it is apparent that Al Qaeda remains the movement leader. The next cycle will require European governments to blend domestic policing and prevention into a broader overarching strategy of containment and targeted kinetic operations against jihadist strongholds.