Wednesday, November 07, 2007

NYPD Published Report on the Process of Radicalization and the Role of the Internet

A report by the New York Police Department studies the process in which individuals become radicalized. The study was based on analysis of the development and recruitment of five terror cells in the U.S. and compared with a similar study of the Hamburg group in Europe.

The study identified four stages of radicalization:
  • Stage 1: Pre-Radicalization
  • Stage 2: Self-Identification
  • Stage 3: Indoctrination
  • Stage 4: Jihadization
and looked at the drivers and processes behind each step. Of particular interest was the conclusion that use of the Internet plays a major role in these processes:
"The Internet is a driver and enabler for the process of radicalization
  • In the Self-Identification phase, the Internet provides the wandering mind of the conflicted young Muslim or potential convert with direct access to unfiltered radical and extremist ideology.
  • It also serves as an anonymous virtual meeting place—a place where virtual groups of like-minded and conflicted individuals can meet, form virtual relationships and discuss and share the jihadi-Salafi message they have encountered.
  • During the Indoctrination phase, when individuals adopt this virulent ideology, they begin interpreting the world from this newly-formed context. Cloaked with a veil of objectivity, the Internet allows the aspiring jihadist to view the world and global conflicts through this extremist lens, further reinforcing the objectives and political arguments of the jihadi-Salafi agenda.
  • In the Jihadization phase, when an individual commits to jihad, the Internet serves as an enabler—providing broad access to an array of information on targets, their vulnerabilities and the design of weapons."
The full report can be read at:

Radicalization in the West: The Homegrown Threat

No comments: