Violent extremism is a growing threat in the United States. Information found on this page is designed to assist law enforcement and the general public to better understand the process of "radicalization" which can be described as the path from extremist sympathizer to extremist activist to terrorist. In order to better detect radicalizing influences and behavior, it is important to first understand that radicalization is rooted in an extremist belief system. Extremist ideology often provides the justification for violence and criminal activity.

Extremist belief systems represent a broad range of religious, political and social causes. On the far right of the political spectrum, right-wing extremists include white supremacists, sovereign citizens (i.e. "Freemen"), paramilitary and militia groups, and other types of anti-government extremists (i.e. Birthers, Truthers, Oath Keepers and Three Percenters). On the far left of the political spectrum, left-wing extremists primarily include anarchists (i.e. Black Bloc, Crimethinc, Ruckus Society, etc.), Black nationalists (such as the New Black Panther Party and New Afrikan Movement), and some elements of the Occupy Wall Street movement. There are also single-issue extremists representing both extreme ends (left and right) of the political spectrum. They are distinct from the other extremist types because they overwhelmingly focus on a single political or social issue. On the far right, single-issue extremists focus their criminal acts against targets related to abortion, illegal immigration or federal income tax issues. On the far left, single-issue extremists direct violence against targets dealing with the environment (i.e. earth rights), animal liberation or anti-war causes.

Extremist ideology can be described as "a poison" absorbed into a person's mind. It uses deception, half-truths, and blatantly false (often over simplistic) explanations to solve complex national issues or personal problems. Extremist ideologies are quick to blame others for these problems - often providing justification for violence and criminal activity. Scapegoats are also given (people, organizations and institutions), providing a lengthy list of potential targets to avenge such grievances.

DT Analytics offers the following list of suspicious activity and radical behavior that may indicate a person's path toward radicalization. This list is not complete. Nor is it meant to implicate anyone in criminal or terrorist activity (see Disclaimer below). It is merely a list of potential indicators that may be concerning. These characteristics should always be taken within the context of an individual's daily routine and known behavioral norms. This information has been compiled from many subject matter experts in the counter-terrorism, behavioral science and psychological fields of study. DT Analytics is responsible for compiling this information and reporting back to you.


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Potential Indicators

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  • Frustrated socioeconomic expectations
  • Possesses a martyr mentality concerning life experiences (consistently views self as a victim)
  • Unusual, extraordinary, or excessively negative interest in a specific political figure, organization or government agency
  • Sudden preoccupation or fanaticism over recent government action (i.e. law enforcement operation, legal or legislative action, etc.)
  • Dramatic loss of stature or damaging humiliation within the family, group or society in general
  • Viewed as an outcast among peers, family members or co-workers
  • Experienced recent life-changing or traumatic event, such as foreclosure, tax delinquency, court action or civil judgment
  • Issues a direct challenge or ultimatum to police, judge or other government official (i.e. draws a line in the sand)
  • Strong distrust of law enforcement
  • Strong mistrust of government or judicial authority
  • Justifies breaking the law
  • Contact with extremists (communication or contact with white supremacist, sovereign citizen, militia member, etc.)
  • Joins a known extremist group or radical cause
  • Verbal and/or written expressions of commitment to an extremist ideology or radical cause
  • Creates a "hit list" of perceived enemies (people or institutions)
  • Possession of anti-government, racist or other extremist propaganda (i.e. extremist organization handbooks, racist music, bomb-making manuals, conspiracy theory materials, etc.)
  • Provides Biblical or religious justification for their anti-government sentiment, racism or criminal activity (i.e. not paying taxes is Biblically justified, cloaks anti-government statements with a mantle of religious righteousness, views certain government figures as the Anti-Christ, references to the Phineas Priesthood, Jewish conspiracy, etc.)
  • Escalation of anti-government or racist rhetoric
  • Unhealthy preoccupation or obsession with emergency preparedness (i.e. "prepping")
  • Weapons hoarding or sudden acquisition of multiple firearms and lots of ammunition
  • Participation in paramilitary training activity
  • Discovery or acquisition of explosives or bomb-making materials
  • Unauthorized (i.e. illegal) conversion of firearms to fully automatic
  • Manufacture of homemade firearms silencers (sound suppressing devices for guns)
  • Sending threatening or otherwise "inappropriate" communication to perceived enemies (i.e. politicians, government institutions, law enforcement, faith communities, etc.)
  • Showing signs of mental illness, paranoia, derangement or delusion
  • Calls for violent action
  • Expresses willingness to die for a personal or political cause

Need More Help?

If anyone suspects an individual is becoming radicalized, mobilized or engaging in violence and criminal activity, please contact state or local law enforcement authorities in your area immediately.

Please notify DT Analytics about any extremist activity in your area using the contact form on this page.

These indicators are not ranked or grouped in any particular order. Each indicator, standing alone, should not be viewed as a definitive indicator of radicalization activity. Rather, concerned parties should look at sudden deviations of normal behavior coupled with some indicators, as well as patterns or grouping of multiple indicators. Obviously, the more indicators a person has, the greater the likelihood of their potential for radicalization or mobilization.