“To Betray, You Must First Belong:”

Psychological Pathways to Insider Threat and Radicalisation


  • Damian Terrill Airbus Defence and Space
  • Dr Markos Trichas
  • Dave Bowden


A contested term, radicalisation is typically considered a psychosocial process which increases the likelihood of a person engaging in extremist or terrorist behaviours directed against a specific group or ideological system.  Likewise, the process through which a person becomes an Insider Threat (IT) is often described as a ‘critical pathway’ leading to behaviour that constitutes a significant risk to the security, stability, and cohesion of a defined organisation.  Whilst radicalisation and IT are not traditionally viewed in parallel, the psychological processes which underpin them share various similarities, many of which are not fully understood.  This paper focusses upon the ideological, identity-related, and psychosocial dimensions of radicalisation and IT, blending conceptual pathways into IT, with established views on radicalisation processes.  The authors maintain further insight into the ideological and interpersonal aspects of IT and radicalisation is critical in informing recommendations for both policy development and practical application in both domains.