Why Are Young Men Prone to Radicalization?

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News Article

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More than a week removed from the Manchester Arena bombing, we in the West find ourselves in a familiar place. We are combing through the details of the life of a young terrorist, 22-year-old Salman Ramadan Abedi, in hopes we can better understand why he turned against his own home country to kill or injure 139 adults and children.

While conducting research in Belgium during and after last year’s Brussels attacks, I closely observed a country going through the process of asking similar questions with unclear answers. Thanks to youth workers in Brussels and Antwerp, I relearned a lesson that I had first learned as a teenager in Toronto when my friends got into trouble with the justice system. As difficult as it may be to accept, there’s rarely a clear explanation for why people make the decisions they make.

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The Globe and Mail