Terrorism and Radicalization to Violence: Making Prevention Work

The Conference Board of Canada, 16 pages, September 6, 2012
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Understanding violent extremism and the path individuals take to radicalize and commit violent acts is one key to countering terrorism. Community members and their leaders can play a substantial role in prevention.

Document Highlights

As the nature of terrorism changes to include more decentralized and transnational threats, governments must strengthen their preventive strategy and counter the spread of extremist ideologies, views, and beliefs. Governments need to better understand the social processes that lead individuals to radicalize to a point where they condone or participate in violent acts. While it has been established that there is no universally applicable profile of a terrorist, the overwhelming majority of those individuals who become terrorists do so through a multi-stage process that is not yet entirely understood. Governments would also benefit from insights on how community leaders can help them to strengthen engagement from community members and how they can be empowered to successfully confront radicalization to violence where it is first noticed.

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