Big Thinking lecture series: "Why do some Canadians become terrorists?"



Tuesday, March 4, 2014, 7:30 - 8:45


Parliamentary Restaurant, Centre Block

In the last decade, security forces worldwide have become preoccupied with the threat posed by “homegrown radicalization,” by residents and citizens of countries plotting to kill their fellow citizens for a cause that is largely rooted in conflicts in other parts of the world. Research consistently shows that those arrested are “remarkably ordinary” and yet they have chosen to do something quite extraordinary, and at great cost to themselves. Canada has yet to experience a major bombing on home soil, but four plots have been prosecuted since 2006 and many young Canadians have travelled overseas to fight for terrorists groups. So why do these “remarkably ordinary” people become terrorists?

Research reveals that explaining why requires a complex approach. Join Lorne Dawson from the University of Waterloo as he explores the many variables at work, the ways we can use existing forms of knowledge to model what is happening, and how this can help us create policies and programs that will best prevent further radicalization to violence.