What is Radicalisation ?
Radicalisation is a bit of a scary word and it used a lot on this website – but what does it actually mean?
The Home Office defines it as “the process by which a person comes to support terrorism and extremist ideologies associated with terrorist groups”.
So you can think of it as a bit like brainwashing or grooming – where a group or individual might target another group or individual to make them think in a particular and often extreme way about a certain subject, such as religion or society.
Often, people don’t realise they are being radicalised as it can be a very long and slow process which can start anywhere from Facebook messenger to the local pub.
It doesn’t really look like anything, but what you might spot, are changes in how someone is behaving and what a person believes in. Over time these views may become more extreme.
If someone is being radicalised they may even begin collecting items and books that relate to violent activities such as knives and replica firearms.
Sometimes, a traumatic life event such a loved one dying can cause a person to become more vulnerable to radicalisation. People who have become isolated or lonely may find that the process of radicalisation gives them a sense of belonging and purpose as they become part of a like-minded group of people – even though the views of the group could be extreme.