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New Study on the Radicalization Process of Homegrown Terrorists

Today, the Center for Terrorism Research (CTR) at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD), where I serve as Deputy Director, released its latest study, Homegrown Terrorists in the U.S. and U.K.: An Empirical Examination of the Radicalization Process. Authored by CTR Director Daveed Gartenstein-Ross and CTR Research Analyst Laura Grossman, the study explores the radicalization process of homegrown terrorists--Westerners who have chosen to take up arms against the society in which they were born or raised. It examines six different steps are particularly significant as homegrown terrorists radicalize: the adoption of a legalistic interpretation of Islam, coming to trust only a select and ideologically rigid group of religious authorities, viewing the West and Islam and irreconcilably opposed, manifesting a low tolerance for perceived religious deviance, attempting to impose religious beliefs on others, and the expression of radical political views.

It is a worthwhile read for those interested in religious radicalization, terrorism, and homeland security issues.

We also held a close-door, off the record, roundtable on the study with government and law enforcement officials, policy experts, and private-sector practitioners. A short summary of the event should be up on the FDD website by the end of the week.

To view the study directly (PDF), click here.

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