This fall, the RCMP released its first ebook on terrorism and radicalization to violence to address evolving national security concerns in Canada.
"I believe we could prevent terrorism by having more people aware of the indicators and the phenomenon of radicalization," says Supt. Martine Fontaine, criminal operations officer for organized crime and prevention in Quebec. "We worked hard to have a resource that's modern, complete and accurate."
The ebook, Terrorism and Violent Extremism Awareness Guide, is available to RCMP members, local police agencies, first responders and the greater public. The goal is to increase awareness on how radicalization can lead to violence, and ultimately stop terror attacks in Canada and beyond.
"As compared to other police matters, it's not a high-frequency issue that we deal with, but when it does happen, it's good for us — and the public — to know information to prevent it," says Supt. Chad Tawfik from the Edmonton Police Service who reviewed the ebook. "I see it as a resource for everyone."
The RCMP's national security prevention and communication teams in Quebec developed the book in collaboration with police partners across Canada.
The awareness guide outlines general definitions relating to terrorism, lists indicators of radicalization leading to violence and explains how to report suspicious activity. Left-wing, right-wing and sole-motivation extremist groups and ideologies are described in the guide, along with a list of 54 recognized terrorist entities.
"It will open people's eyes to the full picture," says Tawfik. "Radicalization to violence and terrorism can apply to more than what people might traditionally associate with the topic. There are a lot of similar themes in how a person might become radicalized, regardless of ideology."
The book reminds readers that violence is not limited to a single group, social class, religion, culture, ethnicity, age group or worldview.
Since the guide is electronic, it will be updated on a regular basis to include the latest information. It's also interactive with clickable links, videos and resources.
"Everyone has a role to play in the prevention and detection of terrorism," says Fontaine. "National security is a shared responsibility."