Saturday 15th August 2020
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Knowing the reasons behind someone turning to extremism may help you to see the signs if they become the target of a terrorist group.

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Research suggests there can be a number of reasons individuals may turn to extremism. These include:

  • segregation;
  • lack of belonging;
  • a sense of injustice;
  • gaps in knowledge and understanding;
  • frustration;
  • perceived feelings of humiliation.

We now have more information about the factors that encourage people to support terrorism and the drivers that lead to radicalisation. It’s important that we all understand these factors if we are to minimise and prevent the risks they pose.

While there is no set pattern or easy answer, there are certain signs and indicators that we can all be mindful of, particularly when individuals may be displaying potentially concerning behaviours such as:
  • spending increasing time in the company of other suspected extremists;
  • changing their style of dress or personal appearance to fit in with the group;
  • their day-to-day behaviour becoming increasingly centred around an extremist ideology, group or cause;
  • loss of interest in other friends and activities not associated with the extremist ideology, group or cause;
  • possession of material or symbols associated with an extremist cause (e.g. the swastika for far right groups);
  • attempts to recruit others to the group/cause/ideology;
  • communications with others that suggest identification with a group/cause/ideology.
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