Phases of Radicalization 1

Pre-Radicalization is the point of origin for individuals before they begin this progression. It is their life situation before they were exposed to and adopted jihadi-Salafi Islam as their own ideology.
 The majority of the individuals involved in these plots began as “unremarkable” - they had “ordinary” jobs, had lived “ordinary” lives and had little, if any criminal history.
Self-Identification is the phase where individuals, influenced by both internal and external factors, begin to explore Salafi Islam, gradually gravitate away from their old identity and begin to associate themselves with like-minded individuals and adopt this ideology as their own. The catalyst for this “religious seeking” is a cognitive opening, or crisis, which shakes one’s certitude in previously held beliefs and opens an individual to be receptive to new worldviews. There can be many types of triggers that can serve as the catalyst including:
• Economic (losing a job, blocked mobility)
• Social (alienation, discrimination, racism – real or perceived)
• Political (international conflicts involving Muslims)
• Personal (death in the close family).
Indoctrination is the phase in which an individual progressively intensifies his beliefs, wholly adopts jihadi-Salafi ideology and concludes, without question, that the conditions and circumstances exist where action is required to support and further the cause. That action is militant jihad. This phase is typically facilitated and driven by a “spiritual sanctioner”.
• While the initial self-identification process may be an individual act, as noted above, association with like-minded people is an important factor as the process deepens. By the indoctrination phase this self-selecting group becomes increasingly important as radical views are encouraged and reinforced.



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