Articles on Radicalisation

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What possesses a Queensland teenager like Oliver Bridgeman to go to fight in Syria? Online propaganda is not an adequate explanation on its own. Facebook

IS radicalises Western youth via the internet? It’s not that simple

Simplistic views of terrorist recruitment focus on online messages to Western youth. Foreign fighters are coming from many other countries, lured by many means, and we need more sophisticated responses.
The story of Jake Bilardi (centre) has distorted the characterisation of what most people think of as a radicalised individual. AAP/Twitter

Jake Bilardi’s story shows why terrorist intervention must be tailored

There will be more Jake Bilardis to come, and Australia must realise that no two cases will be entirely the same. Radicalised individuals will come from all areas of society.
Security agencies seeking to understand the radicalisation of young men such as Jake Bilardi might find answers in popular culture. AAP Image/Twitter

Apocalyptic erotica now: the allure of Islamic State online

Western governments not only misread Islamic State, they have a very limited understanding of the Internet and its role within the private spaces, bedrooms and imaginaries of teenagers.
Tony Abbott’s proposed national security changes have the potential to exacerbate the underlying causes of violent extremism and further damage Australia’s social cohesion. AAP/Lukas Coch

Abbott’s national security changes are unlikely to make us safer

Australia’s response to terrorism must not be rooted in short-term political gains, but in a larger strategy that takes into account the problems leading to social disaffection.
In response to deeply unpopular drone strikes, a public rally in Karachi demands the blocking of NATO supplies from Pakistan to neighbouring Afghanistan. The banner reads, in Urdu ‘Rulers! Come out of the US war’. EPA/Rehan Khan

To defeat terrorists, we need a new game plan to unite all moderates

I learned a number of lessons about Islam in Peshawar, Pakistan. As a senior United Nations official, I arrived in the country within 24 hours of the massive earthquake that struck in October 2005. Pakistan…
French police storm the Jewish supermarket where hostages were held. Ian Langsdon/EPA

Charlie Hebdo attackers killed, now France seeks answers

The hunt for the two killers who attacked the offices of Charlie Hebdo is over, after a three-day chase and a standoff at a warehouse outside Paris. The two suspects were killed, and the hostage they took…
Man Haron Monis, the hostage-taker in the Sydney siege, in 2009. AAP/Sergio Dionisio

Radicalisation and the lone wolf: what we do and don’t know

The events of the Sydney siege this week evolved amid a torrent of speculation and theorising about the motivations and intent of the hostage-taker Man Haron Monis. Some media reporting during the Sydney…

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