The reception of broadcast terrorism: recruitment and radicalisation.Int Rev Psychiatry. 2017 08; 29(4):320-326.IR
The declaration of a caliphate by Islamic State in June 2014 witnessed the recruitment of increasing numbers of foreign terrorist fighters drawn from a diverse range of nations across the globe. This paper seeks to explore the appeal of extreme groups and how recruiters persuade young people to risk either their lives or lengthy terms of imprisonment. The processes of radicalization and recruitment are differentiated and compared with conventional means of encouraging individuals to enlist in state-sanctioned armed forces. The reasons why people join terrorist organizations are influenced by their education, formative experiences, and social or familial connections, whilst these variables, in turn, have an impact on the roles that they then undertake. Whether personality traits explain an over-representation of engineers and doctors amongst leaders of particular extremist groups remains a moot question. The increasing use of the internet and social media as instruments to propagate extremist philosophies may, in part, be responsible for the recent rise in sole actors. The need to involve respected and influential Muslim leaders and organizations is crucial in providing a counter-balance to the message of righteous adventure and belonging promoted by Islamic State.