Very rarely do you get to peek behind the curtain of what a spy agency is doing, the information gathered is clearly meant to be secret.
But CSIS, Canada’s top intelligence agency, has just declassified a report about how Canadian citizens become terrorists.
And it included some key warning signs.
One of the most common thing that many Canadian terrorists share is a previous criminal past, in other words, many don’t just go out and join something like ISIS without having some kind of criminal history in their past.
Many have a past of being “engaged in criminal activity that revolved around low-level crimes and assaults,” says the report.
Another key factor is that those who choose to commit terrorism see it as an attractive option because it offers the prospects of “violence, status and adventure,” according to the report.
Canadians engaging in terrorist organizations also tend to be people who see “their place in society as negative or a failure,” and that they “may gradually adopt extremist mentalities in order to atone for past actions or to frame their activities in a more positive light.”
The reports also says that the average time between more normal criminal behaviour and terrorist actions is only 4 years.
The report stresses though that each is different and that criminality is “not a precondition for extremist mobilization.”
It also says that there doesn’t seem to be any rapid rise in the number of terrorists in Canada, unlike some European countries.