What is radicalisation?
Radicalisation is the process of a person beginning to believe in terrorist or extremist views. Terrorist groups sometimes attempt to radicalise others through persuading them to join their group, or to accept their ideology.
Who is at risk of radicalisation?
Radicalisation could happen to anyone, however, common targets are individuals, particularly young people, who already feel marginalised in some way. Children who are lonely, do not have friends, or are bullied, are often targeted and groomed, through presenting extremist ideology as something which can bring them into a community, and to give them a sense of purpose or meaning.
How does radicalisation happen?
A very common method used by terrorist and extremist groups is to engage with individuals online. The process will often involve starting to chat to the young person, beginning the grooming process and gauging the young person's vulnerability, before inviting the young person to a more private chat room where they share increasingly extreme views with them.
What are the signs of radicalisation?
While these signs do not always mean that a young person being radicalised, some widely accepted signs of radicalisation include:
- isolating themselves from family and friends
- talking as if from a scripted speech
- unwillingness or inability to discuss their views
- a sudden disrespectful attitude towards others
- increased levels of anger
- increased secretiveness, especially around internet use.