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Winning the battle of ideas through individual resiliency : a multi-dimensional approach for countering radicalization in the homeland

By Kirk J. Sampson


CHDS State/LocalTo defeat the terrorist threat facing the U.S., the 9/11 Commission recommended a balanced strategy to attack the terrorists and prevent recruitment, while protecting against future attack. A review of the national strategies related to counterterrorism and homeland security shows they do not provide a balanced approach. Specifically, they fail to counter the factors influencing individuals to conduct terrorism. Disruption of the radicalization process, becomes more significant, when, considering the threat is no longer just of foreign origins, it is increasingly from within. Adding to this dilemma, evidence shows terrorist networks are becoming less centralized, and placing greater emphasis on individual actions. Based on the evolving threat, this thesis explores what strategy offers the most balanced approach. To answer this question, an exploratory study was conducted to define the threat and causes of radicalization. The current U.S. strategies were then evaluated to determine if they adequately addressed the research findings. Additionally, international approaches were analyzed to determine if any lessons learned could be incorporated into a U.S. strategy. The recommendation is to complement existing strategies with a counterradicalization strategy. The proposed multi-dimensional solution offers several options to counter radicalization: traditional and nontraditional educational programs, outreach programs, and community involvement.Deputy Chief, Terrorism Analysis Division, NORAD-USNORTHCOM J2, US Air Force (USAF) author

Topics: Education, Internet, Terrorism
Publisher: Monterey, California. Naval Postgraduate School
Year: 2009
OAI identifier:

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