This report hopes to contribute to developing research in the ever-evolving arena of radicalisation with a particular focus on the role of the Internet.
This paper presents the results from exploratory primary research into the role of the Internet in the radicalization of 15 terrorists and extremists in the UK. The objective of the study deals with the significant, existing void in empirical research that relates to digital radicalization. In order to begin to address this gap and develop the evidence base in the field, this study is based on primary data drawn from a variety of sources: evidence presented at trial, computer registries of convicted terrorists, interviews with convicted terrorists and extremists, as well as police senior investigative officers responsible for terrorist investigations. Among the study’s findings are that the internet creates more opportunities for radicalization, hastens the process and allows individuals to become ‘self-radicalized.’
Researchers with an interest in how the Internet has affected the radicalization process will find this study of particular value. The study’s methodology and extensive utilization of primary sources can also aid in developing further research on the topic.