One of the best ways to recognize if a person you know is vulnerable to being radicalized is to watch for behaviour changes that show they are moving in that direction.

Not all of these behaviours show something is wrong on their own, but they could be linked to radicalization if the change in behaviour is out of character and there is no other good explanation for it.

Key Behaviours

Normal Behaviour

These behaviours can be considered normal, healthy behaviours of personal development.

Unhealthy Behaviour

These behaviours can be associated with a person who is going through a personal crisis.

 
Concerning Behaviour

These behaviours can be associated with a person on a path of radicalization.

Critical Behaviour

These behaviours can be associated with a person who holds extreme views that support the use of violence as the way to achieve political or social change.

 

Descriptors

Normal
  • Strongly defends personal views in debate.
  • Expresses cultural and/or religious identity through clothing, symbols, tattoos, jewelry or other non- discriminatory items.
  • Active on social media in a non-offensive manner.
  • Participates peacefully in democratic activism.
  • Adopts new ideological beliefs that do not conflict with democratic values.
  • Constructively challenges or supports policies of Canadian or foreign governments.
  • Deepens existing faith or adopts a new religious faith.
  • Displays typical youth behaviours such as mood swings, rebellion, or adult-to- youth boundary testing.
What to do:

This behaviour is normal and there is no need to contact ReDirect.

Unhealthy
  • Begins to isolate themselves from family or close friends, which is out of character or unexplained.
  • Expresses a sense of rejection and/or victimization by the community.
  • Expresses a conspiracy theory that goes beyond general societal concern about an issue.
  • Expresses views that are extreme or deeply mistrusting in nature.
  • Friends, family or others are concerned about mental well being.
  • Sudden and noticeable change in habits.
  • Struggles to achieve goals they have set themselves.
  • Shows intolerance to people who disagree with their view.
  • Struggles with their own identity.
What to do:

Seek help from community organizations, friends, family, or a faith leader, or contact ReDirect for advice.

Concerning
  • Sudden unexplained disengagement from school, work, family or friends.
  • Spends time exclusively with a new individual or group.
  • Expresses a religious obligation to stop evil and accepts the possibility of martyrdom.
  • Posts and shares material that supports an extremist group ideology or activity.
  • Is secretive about their activities.
  • Possesses propaganda materials of an extremist group.
  • Noticeable out of character behaviours since travelling abroad.
  • Rapidly sells all personal property.
  • Fixated with a social or political issue that increasingly defines their behaviour.
  • Changes their clothing or appearance to support a violent belief system.
  • Expresses views that dehumanize others.
What to do:

Contact ReDirect for help.

Critical
  • Attitude that legitimizes violence or other criminal behaviour to further a political or social cause.
  • Associates with other people that are known to hold undemocratic, extremist, or violent beliefs.
  • Is actively in contact with an extremist or terrorist group or network.
  • Actively tries to recruit others to a cause that encourages the use of violence to bring about social or political change.
  • Actively supports an extremist or terrorist group by doing things like distributing propaganda or giving money.
  • Commits or plans acts of violence in pursuit of a social or political cause.
  • Is actively planning to travel to a conflict zone to engage in or support violence.
What to do:

Contact ReDirect. If the person is immediately going to harm themselves or others, call 9-1-1.