Radicalization, Disengagement, and Deradicalization


The course will define radicalization and look at some of the motivations behind radicalization, such as ideology, revenge, and networks. Next, participants will be introduced to the concept of disengagement, a behavioural shift in which the individual moves away from violent action as a response mechanism but continues to entertain an extremist ideology. Finally, participants will look at the fulsome cognitive shift of deradicalization wherein an individual ceases to follow a violent ideology.

Participants will see how individuals are encouraged to leave such views behind, the challenges in dealing with young offenders, and the anxieties of parents whose children become involved. Furthermore, we will examine how the court system considers new ways to support the rehabilitation of terrorism offenders.


Learning Outcomes

  • Understand the process of radicalization
  • Define disengagement
  • Identify skills and tools necessary for achieving deradicalization
  • Recognize what signs to look for in determining threats to the public and person
  • Connect to organizations that conduct radicalization/deradicalization interventions


Topic Relevance

Radicalization, disengagement, and deradicalization are high-value subjects for anyone interested in the human behaviour aspect of counterterrorism. An understanding of an individual’s progression from an aspirational to an operational stage is fundamental to national security work.

Radicalization, disengagement, and deradicalization are relatively new topics of study, emerging largely from the post-9/11 threat environment. The impression that radicalization was an exclusively Islamic phenomenon – and the increased scrutiny of Muslim communities – led to a lack of trust in government and law enforcement. Vulnerable and marginalized communities adopted a siege mentality which impeded counter-radicalization efforts in the belief it would demonize Islam, reinforcing negative stereotypes.

The need for a proper understanding of these subjects is even more important with respect to the rise of other types of violent extremism, particularly domestic radicalization. This has challenged the view that radicalization was an exclusively foreign-inspired threat.

Appreciating that this process transcends communities and religion is the overarching theme of this session. The session reaffirms the role of ideology, grievance, peer networks, and other psychosocial factors that animate these adverse behaviors.



  • This course is for anyone interested in radicalization and deradicalization, especially in the Canadian National Security context.



6 hours



  • $595 (plus tax)


Featured Instructor

Mr. Mubin Shaikh is a deradicalized former extremist recruited as a deep cover human source for the Canadian Security Intelligence Service and RCMP INSET. An internationally recognized expert, he has led numerous international workshops on deradicalization, maintaining dialogue with other former extremists engaged in deradicalization. Currently, Mr. Shaikh conducts direct interventions with ISIS-minded individuals for the U.S.-based organization, Parents4Peace.