This paper was written by Daveed Gartenstein-Ross and Laura Grossman and published by FDD’s Center for Terrorism Research in April 2009.
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The Center for Terrorism Research has released its newest study, Homegrown Terrorists in the U.S. and U.K.: An Empirical Study of the Radicalization Process, by Daveed Gartenstein-Ross and Laura Grossman. The study is a product of over a year and half of research into the phenomenon of homegrown terrorists–Westerners who have chosen to take up arms against the society in which they were born or raised.
Homegrown Terrorists in the U.S. and U.K. examines six different steps are particularly significant as homegrown terrorists radicalize: the adoption of a legalistic interpretation of Islam, coming to trust only a select and ideologically rigid group of religious authorities, viewing the West and Islam and irreconcilably opposed, manifesting a low tolerance for perceived religious deviance, attempting to impose religious beliefs on others, and the expression of radical political views.
These steps have recurred frequently among homegrown terrorists, and they help to provide insight into these individuals’ state of mind as they hurtle toward the embrace of violence again innocents.