The Government's national security advisors warn more young people under the age of 18 are being lured into violent extremist ideologies.
“The reality is in this day in age, this stuff is a real risk,” says Intelligence Minister Andrew Little.
Ben Elley works for Independent Research Solutions and is completing his PhD on the alt-right and online radicalisation.
“It's something that has to come to people at a very specific point in their life, they have to be feeling desperate, they have to be poorly informed, they have to be unhappy”.
In documents obtained by Newshub our security agencies say it's due to;
"Readily accessible extremist material and recruitment propaganda online, gaming culture, access to modern technology, and increased youth engagement with prominent polarising issues, such as climate change.
"We judge youth may seek engagement with violent extremist ideologies to attain a sense of belonging.
“For those who don't have great skills in terms of reality testing, who are not aware of what these things really mean, it's a trap you can certainly fall into,” Elley says.
The advisors say ‘we note these individuals could present a credible terrorism threat to New Zealand, despite their age’.
“If you look at the personality profile of some of these people, often loners, often socially disconnected in terms of their physical connection with other people,” Little says.
The Department of Internal Affairs' Digital Safety team monitors violent extremism online. It found 315 extremist accounts, channels or pages onshore last year that had posted more than 600-thousand times. 7-thousand of those posts were classified as either aggressive or a call to action.
In order to prevent this, experts believe education is key.
“I think the Government’s role will be through schools, education campaigns and things like that. Just to make sure young people are prepared and know what to think and what to do when they encounter things like this,” says Elley.
“We've just got to make sure they know there's a big wide world out there, and what is presented on social media is actually not real, and often it's very unreal,” Little says.