Questions & Answers

The process is different for each individual, but there are certain factors which are usually present.

Personal vulnerabilities or local factors can make a young person more susceptible to extremist messages. These may include behavioural or family problems, lack of perceived status or belonging, and involvement in criminality.

Underpinning the radicalisation process is an extremist ideology that seems appealing and credible, often because it appears to make sense of the young person’s feelings of grievance or injustice.

There is usually a radicalising individual who encourages others to develop or adopt extremist beliefs. The internet is increasingly being used to spread extremist messages, so young people often don’t meet this individual in person.

Finally, there is often an absence of positive, supporting factors which would protect the young person from radicalisation – such as a supportive network of family and friends, a teacher who notices a problem and intervenes to help, or a more formal intervention process such as a mentoring scheme.

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