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The radicalization of Canadians towards violent extremism continues to be a significant concern to Canadian national security. Essentially, radicalization is the process whereby individuals move from holding moderate, mainstream beliefs towards adopting extremist political or religious ideologies. Individuals who become radicalized may support or become involved in violent extremism. Activities can range from attack planning against Canadian targets, sending money or resources to support violent extremist groups, and/or influencing others (particularly youth) towards adopting radical ideologies. Radicalized individuals may also seek to travel abroad for terrorist training or to engage in fighting. Such individuals can pose very serious threats to the security of Canada. Not only are they now seasoned fighters who harness the ability to conduct attacks here, but they may also serve in influencing others.

In order to generate a better understanding of the phenomenon, the Service conducts research on radicalization in Canada. CSIS has found that for those influenced by the AQ narrative, violent extremists have come from varied social and age levels, are spread widely across the educational spectrum and can appear fully integrated into society, making detection especially difficult.

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