Photo credit: EPA/Laurent Dubrule
Two bombings in Brussels have killed dozens of people and injured over 100, only days after one of the Paris attackers was arrested in the city’s Molenbeek suburb. The Islamic State (ISIS) has reportedly claimed the attack.
As they recover from the shock of the attacks, people are asking why this happens, and who the people carrying out these suicide missions are.
That such attacks could be launched from inside a European country once again calls attention to a serious crisis: the radicalization of citizens outside the Middle East by extremist groups.
A willingness to embrace violence
The actions of the shooters like those in San Bernardino, Paris and very probably Brussels are difficult for most people to understand. But the work of scholars specializing in extremism can help us begin to unravel how people become radicalized to embrace political violence.
Security experts Alex Wilner and Claire-Jehanne Dubouloz define radicalization as a process during which an individual or group adopts increasingly extreme political, social or religious ideals and aspirations. The process involves rejecting or undermining the status quo or contemporary ideas and expressions of freedom of choice.
Newly radicalized people don’t just agree with the mission and the message of the group they are joining; they embrace the idea of using violence to induce change.
And some members of these groups become radical enough to actually get involved in violent operations personally.
Source: The Conversation