And, as we have also seen, relationships formed at work, at school, on sports teams, and other recreational and religious activities as well as over the Internet can prey upon the already susceptible. In some instances, first generation sons and daughters of immigrants embrace an interpretation of their religion and heritage that is more political, more extreme and more austere—and thereby demands greater personal sacrifices—than that practiced by their parents. The violence inflicted on Muslims in general and Muslim women and children especially around the world have been cited by many homegrown terrorists as a salient motivating factor in their politicization and radicalization and may explain why the American invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan were cited by Dzhogar Tsarev as the reasons behind his and his older brother’s bombing of the Boston Marathon.

Indeed, the common element in the radicalization process reflects these individuals’ deep commitment to their faith—often recently re-discovered; their admiration of terrorist movements or leading terrorist figures who they see as having struck a cathartic blow for their creed’s enemies wherever they are and whomever they might be; hatred of their adopted homes, especially if in the United States and the West; and, a profoundly shared sense of alienation from their host countries.