Security Challenges
Volume 10, No.1 (2014)

The Importance of Family - The Key to Understanding the Evolution of Jihadism in Australia

This article investigates one of the key drivers behind the presence of jihadism in Australia, the influence of family. While no single factor can completely account for an individual‘s radicalisation, the following will contend that the influence of family (as well as other close social relationships) has been critical to the recruitment and retention of many members of the Australian jihadist network. The specific nature of this influence is demonstrated through case studies into the radicalisation of several significant members of the Australian network. Prominent examples of familial influence on radicalisation in other comparable Western countries have also been included to demonstrate a similar phenomenon within other international jihadist networks. However, the influence of family has at times proven critical in preventing radicalisation, and examples of this occurrence have also been included in the discussion. Overall, the article aims to contribute towards a better understanding of jihadist radicalisation in Australia by highlighting and analysing a key driver of the phenomenon.

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