​​​​​"Supporting and empowering families to combat radicalisation"


What are the signs that a person is at risk?

Individuals can be drawn into radicalisation by a number of ways and there is no single size that fits all. However there are some common elements in the experience of most people being radicalised. It must be remembered that just because a person may display one or two of the signs, it does not necessarily mean the person is  being radicalised. It is important that a common sense approach is adopted, whereby their circumstances and environment should also be taken into account. If there is a valid alternative explanation for the changes in behaviour, these changes should not be considered a sign of radicalisation.

There are no typical characteristics of a person at risk. However, a sudden change in behaviour could be a potential indicator. Sometimes those at risk may be encouraged by the people they are in contact with not to draw attention to themselves. Parents are encouraged to enquire about their children’s well being if they feel there is a change in their behaviour, In particular, when you observe:

  • sudden increase in intolerance of others by way of rejection of non-Muslims or different interpretations of Islam.
  • more argumentative or domineering viewpoints, being quick to condemn those who disagree and ignoring views that contradict their own. 
  • rejection of Western policies, democracy, and government laws and talk of conspiracy theories and a 'them and us' mentality resulting in increased social isolation. 
  • obsession with Jihadi and violent extremists sites and social media and downloading  or promoting extremist content.
  • obsession with death, afterlife and martyrdom  and apocalypse.
  • overly secretive online viewing – this being one of the core ways in which recruiters are  known to communicate.
  • perception of being a victim of injustice and grievances.
  • questioning of their faith or identity.
  • social isolation – losing interest in activities they used to enjoy, distancing themselves from friends and  their usual social groups.
  • altered appearance – change in style of dress and/or personal appearance.
  • abnormal routines, travel patterns or aspirations.
  • out of character changes in behaviour and peer relationships.
  • showing sympathy for extremist causes and glorifying violence.
  • possessing illegal or extremist literature.
  • advocating messages similar to illegal organisations such as “Muslims Against Crusades” or other non-proscribed extremist groups such as the English Defence League.


If you are concerned somebody you know may be in the process of being  radicalised, you can find more information about How we can help.