52.5°N, 13.4°E

What we really need are
civic approaches with a
clear stance coming from  
the affected community.
Mimoun Berrissoun
About Mimoun


A mother calls your organisation or youth group because she is afraid that her son is about to travel abroad to join an extremist organisation. Your friend starts to spend his nights consuming extremist media on the internet. What can you do?

Targeted interventions

Intervening to help people who are on a path towards radicalisation but are not yet involved in violent attacks is an important dimension of CVE. Interventions can prevent individuals from joining dangerous groups and doing harm to themselves or others. They are most likely to succeed when they occur early and involve friends, parents or relatives who are close to the person at risk. Where possible, train interveners. Trainings should tell interveners what they need to know, how to proceed, and what to avoid. It is often effective to discuss examples of successful intervention. What do interveners need to know? First, many kinds of people become radicalised and it is vital to understand the personality and situation of those at risk as well as the depth of their engagement. Are they sympathisers, followers, or hardcore supporters?

Second, why are they attracted to the extreme movement in question? Motives are numerous: broken family relationships, solitude, low self-confidence, lack of direction, experience of marginalisation or discrimination, or having friends who are radicalised. Interventions must be carefully managed, because inappropriate approaches may push young people further towards radicalisation. In the worst cases, those at risk may cut their ties with friends and family, making it almost impossible to assist them or even stay in contact.

A programme in Tajikistan teaches mothers to combat radicalisation in their families. The Mothers’ School Model trains mothers to identify and respond to early signs of radicalisation.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet est. Lorem dolore
sit dolorem ante ipsum anticusare in proposum
dolor sinus antiqua lorem. photo: Shutterstock
Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet est.  photo: Shutterstock

We say

180° Grad Wende came across Mustafa on the German subway. He was invited to participate in counselling groups and when he met other young people with similar problems he realised he was not alone. Older coaches helped him prepare a CV that he used for job applications. At his request, 180° Grad Wende helped him to obtain his high school diploma and complete a technical training course. Today, Mustafa is pursuing his education and helps other young people in the network.