The relation between mental health disorders and acts of violent extremism has received increased attention in recent years. Several practitioners note that radicalised individuals have specific neuropsychiatric disorders like autism spectrum disorder or schizophrenia.
The specific symptoms of these disorders could cause mild concern for practitioners from different fields. This paper identifies risk factors that make these people vulnerable to violent extremism, as well as ways that professionals can assess protective factors which may contribute to safeguarding them.
Without oversimplifying and stigmatising people with a mental health disorder, there is a need for a better understanding of the implications of these vulnerabilities, and possibly even perceptibility to radical ideas, to improve prevention efforts. Lastly, recommendations at a practical and policy level are formulated. Read more