Who is vulnerable?

There are numerous factors that can make an individual vulnerable to radicalisation and reduce their resilience to accepting extremist messages.


These can include:

  • Grievance/injustice (perceived or real), e.g. bullying
  • Group influence or control
  • Desire for status
  • Mental ill-health
  • Transitional life events (bereavement, divorce, relocation etc)
  • Lack of identity, meaning or belonging
  • Need for dominance and control
  • Political/moral motivation
  • Desire for excitement, comradeship and adventure

This is not an exhaustive list and it may be the case that despite having some of these vulnerabilities, an individual may not be engaged with an extreme narrative. Involvement in terrorism is not the only safeguarding concern that can be facilitated by some of these vulnerabilities.

Individuals that are affected by sexual exploitation, drug/alcohol abuse, involvement with gangs and other crime types can also share similar vulnerabilities to those at risk of being drawn into terrorism. Involvement in other criminal activities may also increase an individual’s vulnerability to accepting a radical ideology and the experience could potentially make them more capable of participating in violent extremist activity.

If there is a safeguarding concern, then it is important that these concerns are shared with the appropriate services so an assessment can be made and suitable support measures provided.

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