The violent Islamic radicalization process: a framework for understanding
Keys-Turner, Karen D.
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The violent Islamic radicalization process is understood differently across disciplines within the homeland security enterprise. Radicalization of U.S. citizens is an emerging threat within the homeland. Current theories and models of the radicalization process offer a linear progression or focus heavily on religious behaviors. When those processes are relied upon to inform policy or procedures for interdiction, civil liberties issues arise. Some theories or models rely on a demographic profile of terrorists. Research suggests that a demographic profile of terrorists is nonexistent. This study analyzes prevailing theories and models that explain radicalization. Using appreciative inquiry, a framework is identified that comprehensively captures the contributions of various theories and models that compose and best explain the dynamics of the radicalization and mobilization process. The identified framework, developed by the National Counterterrorism Center, is comprehensive and suitable for informing training, and counter-radicalization policies and measures within the United States. This research examines radicalization strategies from abroad, as well as studies that identify behavioral indicators of radicalization and mobilization, which establish the basis for future research for behavioral profiling of terrorists. This research recommends a counter-radicalization policy theme that begins with the development of radicalization process expertise and understanding across the homeland security enterprise.
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