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This report presents findings from a quantitative study exploring the role of the Internet in radicalisation and offending of 437 convicted extremists in England and Wales.
PDF, 1.25 MB, 70 pages
This study explored the role of the Internet in radicalisation pathways of 437 convicted extremist offenders in England and Wales. Specific considerations for this study included technological advances and changes in online activities, exploring the relevance of mental health including specific types of difficulties and disorders, and focusing on the sub-group of convicted extremist offenders identified as attackers.
A data set of 490 convicted extremists was created, equating to nearly all offenders who have been subject to either a Structured Risk Guidance (SRG) or initial Extremism Risk Guidance (ERG22+) report from October 2010 up to December 2021. The analysis focused on 437 offenders identified as ‘Radicalised Extremists’ following a review of all reports. Online behaviours commonly associated with radicalisation, demographic information and offence characteristics were coded for all cases. Professional ratings for overall levels of engagement, intent and capability to commit violent extremist acts were also included. Future offence data was obtained for all individuals by accessing up-to-date offending information and reviewing their current location. Statistical analyses were used to compare three radicalisation pathway groups: those who primarily radicalised online; those who primarily radicalised offline; and those subject to radicalising influences in both the online and offline domain.
Ten key findings and implications are presented in the report, resulting in six recommendations to inform future counter-terrorism policy and practice. This study is an extension of the work previously reported by Kenyon, Binder and Baker-Beall (2021) on GOV.UK based on analysis of 235 convicted extremists entitled ‘Exploring the role of the Internet in radicalisation and offending of convicted extremists’.
The views expressed in this report are those of the authors and are not necessarily shared by the Ministry of Justice (nor do they represent government policy).
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