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December 8, 2020

Radical Milleu

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Borrowing the example of the three Adam brothers in the UK 2004, radicalisation needs to be examined further from an individual point. A case of three brothers who were exposed to the plight of Iraq and Iran Muslims. They were exposed to videos that came with the technical, tactical, and paths to becoming a terrorist but only one of the brothers became a terrorist.

Individual motivations for the radicalised individuals come from a mixture of broader political, religious, and social issues that they associate with their needs. They develop their identity for a ‘greater’ purpose that they believe will address or bring to attention their grievances. They depend on their peers and acquaintances to get connections to violent extremist groups. They have social structures put in place that are responsible for group cohesion and the process of mobilizing political violence. This explains why terrorist organizations exist in communities, they have are backed by a sympathetic population which is necessary for their long term survival in societies.

These people are referred to as radical milieus, they act as the actors of violent conflict but do not fully join terrorist organizations. Radical Milieus are individuals that emerge and operate with a specific and immediate social environment that shares the perspectives and objectives of violent groups and by extension, supports the violent group. But them actively joining these organizations depends on the type of terrorist organization. Some of these radicals may choose not to join the group even when they were taking part in political violence and demanding change. They are not willing to pay the “costs” of joining these terrorist groups and abandon them under pressure. They are also not willing to give total control of their lives to these organizations and quit once the cost of joining terrorist organizations is much higher than the benefits.

Young people in an attempt to create their own identity are easily persuaded to take up radical ideologies. Radicalisation is a personal process and radical groups have been able to tap into the vulnerabilities of the youth in order to radicalize them. The existence and survival of terrorist groups depend on the sympathisers and radical milieu. Without which they would become irrelevant and cease to exist.

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