Signs of radicalisation- what to look for

There are many factors that can make someone vulnerable to radicalisation. They can apply to any age, social class, religion, ethnic or educational background.

More important than any one specific sign is the sense that something is not quite right with the person you’re worried about. You could spot one sign or a combination of signs that are increasing in intensity. 

Sometimes they can be indicators of other underlying issues or challenges that are not connected to radicalisation. If you are concerned, trust your instincts and contact us or one of the organisations listed on the website for advice.

Signs and Vulnerabilities

There is no single route to radicalisation. However, there are certain behaviours you can watch out for that we often see when someone is being led down the path of extremism. These signs and vulnerabilities are not listed in any order of importance. Our experience shows that some of these behaviours and vulnerabilities can make a person more at risk of being exploited. Identifying them doesn't necessarily mean someone is being radicalised. There can be other explanations behind the behaviours you are seeing. If you are worried, then act early and reach out for help to discuss your concerns.

Act early and share your concerns

Everyone is different. You know best and if something doesn’t feel right, then your loved one may need support to help them move away from extremism.

If your loved one didn’t return home one day, it wouldn’t be long before you called the police, right? Radicalisation is about losing someone too, so what’s different about this?

James, Prevent officer

They try to create a bubble of social isolation, so no one can contradict the narrative they are telling the person. Parents be vigilant, there is support out there.

W. Joseph, Intervention Provider

If you're worried about someone being radicalised one of the first things you might see is a harshness about them and that they won’t accept different opinions.

Abdul, Intervention Provider

Ignore the ideology or beliefs they have, just focus on the why. Why are they joining up with these people, what is missing in their life? How are these people filling the void?

Brother of radicalised individual

All the extremists use the same tactics; it doesn’t matter what the ideology. They make you feel you can’t let the side down.

Abdul, Intervention Provider

They keep nurturing the cause or grievance. It is a persistent and ongoing process. They make it really hard for you to leave as they give you that sense of belonging. They keep hooking you back in, even when you might see things that you are against.”

Abdul, Intervention Provider

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