18.6 Understanding and Recogning Risks and Vulnerabilities of Radicalisation
Last updated 18/05/2017
There is no single route to terrorism nor is there a simple profile of those who become involved. For this reason, any attempt to derive a ‘profile’ can be misleading.
However, there are a number of behaviours and other indicators that may indicate the presence of these factors. Example indicators that an individual is engaged with an extremist group, cause or ideology include:
- Spending increasing time in the company of other suspected extremists;
- Changing their style of dress or personal appearance to accord 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; or
- Communications with others that suggest identification with a group/cause/ideology.
Example indicators that an individual has an intention to use violence or other illegal means include:
- Clearly identifying another group as threatening what they stand for and blaming that group for all social or political ills;
- Using insulting or derogatory names or labels for another group;
- Speaking about the imminence of harm from the other group and the importance of action now;
- Expressing attitudes that justify offending on behalf of the group, cause or ideology;• condoning or supporting violence or harm towards others; or
- Plotting or conspiring with others.
Example indicators that an individual is capable of contributing directly or indirectly to an act of terrorism include:
- Having a history of violence;
- Being criminally versatile and using criminal networks to support extremist goals;
- Having occupational skills that can enable acts of terrorism (such as civil engineering, pharmacology or construction); or
- Having technical expertise that can be deployed (e.g. IT skills, knowledge of chemicals, military training or survival skills).
The examples above are not exhaustive and vulnerability may manifest itself in other ways. There is no single route to terrorism nor is there a simple profile of those who become involved. It must not be assumed that these characteristics and experiences will necessarily lead to individuals becoming terrorists.