Radicalization is complex. Yet a thinly-sourced, reductionist view of how people become terrorists has gained unwarranted legitimacy in some counterterrorism circles. This view corresponds with—and seems to legitimize—“counter-radicalization” measures that rely heavily on non-threat-based intelligence collection, a tactic that may be ineffective or even counterproductive. Only by analyzing what we know about radicalization and the government’s response to it can we be sure that these reactions are grounded in fact rather than stereotypes and truly advance our efforts to combat terrorism.
In a New York Times bloggingheads segment, the Brennan Center’s Faiza Patel, author of the recent report Rethinking Radicalization, discussed law enforcement’s attempt at understanding terrorism and how these theories of radicalization come into play. Arun Kudnani of the Open Society Institute joined the conversation.
Watch the New York Times clip here.
The full video is below: