Presenter Title Abstract
Mubin Shaikh Twitihad: Engaging Syria-linked extremists on Twitter – Tales from the Trenches This presentation demonstrates the practical application of countering violent extremism messaging on Twitter, in the specific context of Western citizens (mostly British) and Jihadist narratives related to the war in Syria. It will feature examples of engagement with extremists and terrorist-minded individuals linked to Al Qaeda and the new offshoot, ISIS and address their propaganda with an attempt to counter their efforts online. Considerations include role of the messenger, the packaging and delivery of the message and how to exploit the Islamic sources in order to take extremists to task at the ideological level.
Barak Mendelsohn The Costs of Franchising: The Case of al Qaeda’s Expansion to Syria

Numerous scholars and practitioners have suggested that by forming franchises throughout the Middle East, al Qaeda became stronger. It has expanded its reach, gained access to new pools of recruits, and bolstered its image as the eminent jihadi group. But both theoretical and empirical studies also note that the expansion of terrorist organizations may come with costs. As a terrorist organization expands, command and control problems multiply. Relentless state pressure on the leadership of a terrorist group reduces its ability to coordinate the activities of its cells and to effectively guide them in the pursuit of an operational strategy that would support the group’s political objectives. In the absence of sufficient supervision, members of a terrorist group may carryout actions that would undermine its overall strategy. When a group operates across borders, in disparate national contexts, the combination of expansion and states’ counterterrorism campaigns can diminish terrorists’ ability to act in a concerted way. The question of command and control is discussed primarily in the context of a mismatch between terrorists’ tactics and strategy. But when expansion takes the form of establishing franchises – an act that has strong political dimensions because public affiliation is a political statement – new potential costs come into play.

Al Qaeda’s bitter experience with its Iraqi franchise offers a useful case to identify such costs. Al Qaeda’s franchising strategy reflected more than the objective of expanding the group’s operational reach. By branching out, al Qaeda also sought to signal its power and importance to the Muslim umma, and to its Western and Arab state enemies. But al Qaeda’s relationship with its Iraqi branch came back to haunt it not once, but twice, first in Iraq (2006-2008) and then in Syria (since 2013). While others have considered how the Iraqi affiliate harmed the al Qaeda brand-name during the first period, the proposed paper will focus on how al Qaeda’s expansion strategy backfired in the second. In its expansion into Syria, al Qaeda relied on its Iraqi branch. While the operation of a franchise across state borders is not unusual for al Qaeda, as is evident from its branches in the Arabian Peninsula and in the Maghreb, the dynamics that followed the expansion of the Iraqi branch into Syria have been. This paper will discuss the rift within al Qaeda that was exposed a year ago when its affiliate, the Islamic State of Iraq, claimed guardianship over Jabhat al-Nusra (JN), and independently renamed itself the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), despite JN’s resistance and al Qaeda’s leader, Ayman al-Zawahiri’s futile efforts to keep the two groups separate and subordinate to al Qaeda’s Central Command. The conflict reached a peak when al Qaeda, for the first time in its history, disowned the Iraqi franchise and infighting between JN and ISIL claimed the lives of thousands of jihadis. Thus, the paper will focus on the complex and conflictual relations between the three actors, al Qaeda Central and JN on one side and ISIL on the other. Using the principal-agent perspective, expanded to account for the unique political and organizational aspects of branching out processes, I will explain how al Qaeda’s franchising exposed the organization to an internal challenge that could result in ISIL consuming it in Syria and beyond.

Daniel Snook, Dan Richard and Debbie Dong-Yuan Wang Is what is past always prologue? Priming of past conflicts and fear of terrorism influence Americans’ support for military intervention in Syria The present study explored how implicit knowledge of past international conflicts and fear of terrorism affected recommendations for conflict resolution in current international conflicts. Following the fundamental manipulation of Gilovich (1981), participants (N= 176 college students, Mean Age= 22.57 years, SD= 5.65) from January to March 2014, read a hypothetical conflict scenario describing an international conflict and rated multiple strategies to resolve the conflict from the perspective of a national official of a hypothetical country. Embedded in each of these hypothetical scenarios were cue phrases used to prime the reader to think of World War II, the Iraq War, or no specific war (neutral scenario). These priming cues did not alter the structure of the conflict itself, which was the same for all hypothetical scenarios. A manipulation check asking students to report any real scenario they thought of during the hypothetical scenario determined whether the priming scenario had its intended effect. The participants then read a brief description of the Syrian conflict, as far as it had progressed as of late 2013, and rated multiple strategies the United States (US) could utilize to resolve the conflict. Participants then completed a variety of individual difference measures, including a fear of terrorism (FOT) scale adapted from Friedland and Merari (1985).

We hypothesized that the participants who had been primed with the World War II (WWII) scenario would be more likely to recommend US military intervention as a means of resolving the conflict in Syria (because of the relative success and the approval resulting from US intervention in WWII) and that those primed with the Iraq War scenario would be less likely to recommend US military intervention as a means of resolving the conflict in Syria (because of the relative lack of success and the disapproval resulting from US intervention in the Iraq War). Although we found a priming effect on level of recommendation of US military intervention (MIS), it was not the effect that had been hypothesized. Using separate analyses of variance (ANOVAs) for each scenario priming group, we found that fear of terrorism (FOT) significantly predicted MIS [F(1, 54)= 9.45, p= .003] when participants were primed with the Iraq War scenario. This effect is such that higher levels of FOT are associated with higher levels of MIS for participants in the Iraq War group, but there was no relationship between FOT and MIS when students were primed with the WWII scenario [F(1, 54)<.000, p= .996] or the neutral scenario [F(1, 48)= .147, p= .703]. This study extends and generalizes Gilovich’s initial work by examining how implicit priming of past conflicts affects conflict resolution strategies in real and current conflicts and in its interaction with fear of terrorism. It also provides critical information on the relationship between fear of terrorism and support for US military intervention in the Middle East that has strong implications for future domestic and foreign policy.

Kevin Klein The Zombie Apocalypse of Foreign Fighters: Why the West Should be Concerned

Estimates indicate that there are between 3,300 and 11,000 foreign fighters from 74 countries in Syria, more than any other sectarian-based conflict to date. Of these, more than 2,000 are from Western nations. Initially, academics, politicians, and security analysts expressed grave concern about the foreign fighter problem, especially when considering the return of these citizens as radicalized, deadly, ideologues with potentially antagonistic views toward their home countries.

Recently, the pendulum has swung the other way. As the bloody Syrian war grinds through its 3rd year, several well-known analysts are calming the waters, noting that the problem of returning foreign fighters is really not a problem at all. Stratfor VP of Tactical Analysis, the venerable Scott Stewart, has cautioned that the returning foreign fighter frenzy is nothing but hyperbole, akin to the anxiety over a “zombie apocalypse” - a horrific and pervasive thought experiment with little basis in reality. He states that citizens have always fought in foreign wars, and that Bosnia, Chechnya, and Afghanistan also attracted numerous foreigners, even from the West, resulting in little more than a nuisance when they returned home.

The paper, The Zombie Apocalypse of Returning Foreign Fighters: Why the West Should be Concerned, challenges this perspective and argues that the foreign fighter issue is indeed a grave existential threat to the West because the Syrian conflict differs drastically from Afghanistan, Bosnia, Chechnya, or any fight before it. Analysts who misunderstand the Syrian conflict and corresponding global strategic transformations, fail to understand the nature of the threat and its magnitude.

Seven factors make the Syrian conflict qualitatively unique and, therefore, the return of foreign fighters to their home countries correspondingly more dangerous: the internet and social media, evolving terrorist strategies, adaptable and resilient leadership, geographic ease, family accompaniment, the unprecedented choice of combat options, and permissive Western foreign policies. Western nations, must recognize these unique characteristics in order to devise appropriate security strategies to counter the inevitable threat that foreign fighters returning from Syria pose.


Brian Glyn Williams Terrorizing the Terrorists. A Defense of the CIA's Drone War in Pakistan.

This presentation is based on my fieldwork in the tribal zones of Pakistan and a chapter in my recent book Predators the CIA’s Drone War on Al Qaeda (Washington 2013) which is titled “The Pro Drone Argument.” In my presentation I will provide a brief introduction to the politics, history and terrain surrounding the Tehrek e Taliban e Pakistan’s (Pakistani Taliban) creation of a shariah Islamic law state in the Federally Administered Tribal Agencies (FATA).

I will then trace the emergence of the CIA’s drone program and analyze various studies (including one I worked on for the Jamestown Foundation in Washington DC) which assess the death toll from drone strikes. I will argue that these studies demonstrate that the drones kill far fewer civilians as accidental “collaborative damage” than the drone critics claim. My presentation (which will be supported by power point slide images) will then show how this unprecedented precision has been achieved. I will argue that it has been achieved through A. The use of smaller, precise munitions, including the mini missile known as the Scorpion which creates smaller explosions thus leading to less collateral damage. B. Through the use of robust spy networks that support the drones with invaluable on-the-ground humint (human intelligence). B. Through the use of increasingly advanced drones including the MQ 9 Reaper which can track their targets for over 24 hours and follow their movements with high resolution cameras to make sure they are not killed among civilians. C. The new strategy of attacking Taliban or Al Qaeda targets when they are travelling in vehicles where they can be cleanly killed once they leave crowded venues, instead of targeting them in hujras (guest houses) or compounds where civilian bystanders cannot be observed.

For all these reasons I will argue that the drone campaign is the most targeted “bombing” campaign in history and beats the alternative (that is if one assumes that the Pakistani state cannot allow the militants to terrorize it population, nor can NATO or the Afghan government allow Taliban extremists to launch cross border attacks). The alternative is full-scale Pakistani invasions of the sort that have killed thousands of civilians in clumsy aerial and artillery bombardments in Bajaur, Swat and South Waziristan. For all these reasons I will demonstrate that the drone campaign is the most humane option for fighting the militants who have killed up to 3,000 Pakistani civilians a year.

But despite the unprecedented precision of the campaign and the lack of humane alternatives, the perception in Pakistan is that the CIA drones are slaughtering civilians “every day.” Such perceptions come from sourceless Pakistani media accounts which inflate the civilian death toll. But as I discovered in my own fieldwork in Pakistan, the Pashtun tribesmen living in the actual targeted FATA zones appreciate the drones for their precision and see them as a welcome alternative to full scale Pakistani military operations of the sort seen in Bajaur and South Waziristan.

John Kaag Drones and the Paradox of Choice

This presentation employs Gerald Dworkin’s analysis in “Is More Choice Better Than Less” (1982) in order to understand the challenges and consequences of having enlarged the scope of military options to include precision guided munitions (PGM) and unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) capabilities. Following Dworkin, we argue that having more strategic choices are not always better than less for a number of specific reasons. Unlike many philosophical discussions of the use of these military technologies, ours is an account of the prudential challenges and consequences of having widened military options, and the analysis self-consciously avoids making moral or legal claims concerning their use. It is simply an examination of the claim that widening the range of tactical options, to include these new weapon systems, is necessarily better. We will follow the outline of Dworkin’s argument in describing the current politico-military affairs.

Our intent is to expose the practical costs associated with having tactical choices that include the use of these technologies. To be clear, the argument does not bear directly on the use of these technologies, but rather on the challenges associated with merely having the choice to use these weapon systems. Faced with the challenges associated with the option of having PGM or UAV capabilities, it may be judicious for countries to freely limit the military choices that they have at their disposal. This is not self-evident since the weapon technologies in question are not the sort that poses a clear and present danger to a large number of citizens, as was the case with nuclear weapons limited in the Strategic Arms Limitation Talks (SALT) of the 1970s or 1980s. Therefore a more detailed philosophical argument is warranted. A final caveat needs to be stated: The argument is to be taken as a whole since no single aspect of Dworkin’s analysis is definitive in regard to the question of whether more choice is indeed better than less. Each aspect does, however, contribute to a deeper understanding of what enlarging the set of tactical means for modern militaries.


Mia Bloom Armed and “Innocent”: Children’s Involvement in Terrorism Terrorism has long been considered a “weapon of the weak.” In recent years terrorists have increasingly drawn on women and children to fight. Using child operatives provides the organizations with the element of surprise as well as psychological advantages. In the current conflict with the Islamic State (formerly ISIS) we are seeing an increasing number of children among front line fighters, in video propaganda, and being trained in weapons and hand to hand combat. The presentation for STR assesses the growing phenomenon of children’s involvement in terrorist groups by focussing on the different mechanisms for children’s mobilization, and contrasting children in Violent Extremist Organizations with child soldiers. Current regional cases will include ISIS, al Shabaab, Boko Haram in addition to Hamas, PIRA, and the LTTE.
Neil Shortland Murder on Maneuver: a quantitative analysis of green-on-blue fratricide-murders in Afghanistan Assaults by members of the Afghanistan National Security Force against International Security Assistance Force personnel represent an on-going issue for current efforts to transition security in Afghanistan. Such attacks are widely referred to as “green-on-blue” or “Insider” attacks. A host of reasons for why such attacks occur have emerged, however no research has focused on the attacks themselves, the attackers, victims, and attackers behavior, nor has there been any attempt to collect and publish data in relation to this. This research represents the first data-driven attempt to explore the behavioral elements of green-on-blue attacks. Specifically a open-source database of green-on-blue attacks is developed and analyzed in order to investigate the behavioral differentiation between such attacks, specifically this research tests if the widely applied dichotomy of ‘instrumental/Expressive (also referred to as proactive/reactive) is also present. This analysis provided minimal support for this hypothesis. However analysis of this data did identify a series of interesting trends including the heterogeneity of the perpetrators, the victims and the attack behaviors. These results are preliminary, but reflect the first attempt to quantitatively analyze this unique case of interpersonal violence within a military context.
Michael Woldemariam Shabaab in Cross-National Perspective: Violence and Terror in Kenya and Ethiopia Since Kenya’s 2011 military intervention in Somalia, Kenya has become the focus of a steady stream of attacks from the militant Islamist organization, Al Shabaab. While the intensity of Shabaab activity in Kenya has increased, so has its geographic reach, spreading from Kenya’s Somali frontier, to the Swahili coast, and on to the Kenyan highlands. The operation launched against Nairobi’s Westgate Mall in September 2013 was the most brazen of these attacks, highlighting Shabaab’s willingness to operate within Kenya’s borders, and the striking erosion of the Kenyan state’s ability to engage in effective counter-terrorism. Yet while Al Shabaab has demonstrated the capacity to function as a truly transnational insurgent group in the Kenyan context, it has largely failed to extend its operations into neighboring Ethiopia, a country with a long history of intervention in Somalia. Since Shabaab has repeatedly stated its desire to strike targets within Ethiopia, the organization’s absence of activity in the Ethiopian context is notable. This paper uses the seeming contrast in violent Shabaab activity in Kenya and Ethiopia to explore several common propositions about the sources of cross-national variation in terrorist activity. Statistical data on Shabaab attacks, and original interviews in Kenya, Ethiopia, and Somalia, are the paper’s empirical core. Building on existing theory, the paper argues that Shabaab operations in both countries depend on its ability to infiltrate and co-opt supporting networks within local Somali communities. In Ethiopia, the historical dominance of secular Somali separatist movements, deeply suspicious of pan-Somali appeals emanating from political actors in Somalia, has created a difficult environment for Shabaab to cultivate enabling networks. Combined with Ethiopia’s employment of local proxies to police its restive Somali province of Ogaden, this factor largely accounts for the relative absence of Shabaab activity in Ethiopia. The paper, which is one of the few to place Shabaab activity in transnational, comparative perspective, refines existing explanations of cross-national variation in terrorism, and historicizes the varied Somali contexts in which Shabaab has sought to operate.
Michael Nwankpa Demystifying the Boko Haram Phenomenon: An Implication for Counter-terrorism Policy Since 2009 till date, the Nigerian government has been battling with the terror posed by the Boko Haram insurgents. The Boko Haram sect is undoubtedly one of the continent’s most dangerous insurgency. The impact of the sect’s activities is felt beyond the northeast of Nigeria, as it is proscribed by the United Kingdom and blacklisted by the United States government. There is serious concern towards the sect’s expansion to the south of Nigeria, as well as its spillover effect on neighboring countries such as Cameroon, Chad and Niger. While information about the group’s sponsors and reach are still sketchy and unreliable, one cannot deny the group’s growing sophistication and boldness that have earned it international reputation and linkage with established terrorist groups in the continent, such as Al’Qaeda and Al-Shabab. Interestingly, there are increasing volumes of research publications and press releases on Boko Haram. These however fail to help us understand any better the motivations behind the spate of attacks by the Boko Haram sect. This situation is compounded further by the lack of or little access to information and the rather confusing and misleading information by the government, especially the country’s military public relations department. The tough restrictions on human movement in virtually all parts of the north (mostly in the northeast) in the form of state of emergencies, curfews, military checkpoints and stop and search policies, including the soft approaches have failed to curb the deadly attacks by Boko Haram. Rather, these attacks have increased sharply in frequency and intensity. The seeming polarised (North/South, Christian/Moslem, Indigene/Non-Indigene, and Domestic/Foreign) views on Boko Haram and the alleged vested interests present a strong challenge to a clear understanding of the Boko Haram phenomenon, including the best counterterrorism approaches to adapt. This paper therefore discusses some of these challenges and possible ways of dealing with them, with the objectives of advancing a clear explanation about the group’s motivation and the best counterterrorism policies to adapt.


Cato Hemmingby and Tore Bjorgo Exploring the dynamics of a targeting process: The case of Anders Behring Breivik and the 22 July attacks in Norway Anders Behring Breivik conducted extremely brutal and ruthless terrorist attacks on 22 July 2011 in Norway. The two-folded terrorist operation was initiated with a massive bomb explosion in the Government District in downtown Oslo, killing eight people. Shortly afterwards this was followed by a shooting attack at the Workers’ Youth League camp at the island Utøya, killing 69 people – many of them very young. In this study, we have analysed the decision-making and target selection process of the terrorist, Anders Behring Breivik. Why and how did Breivik end up with the two target objects he actually attacked? What were the alternatives he considered during the build-up phase? Which factors made him dismiss some targets to the benefit of others, and at what time in the selection process did crucial decision-making sequences take place? In most terrorist plots these questions are unlikely to be answered in detail due to unknown or dead perpetrators, lack of cooperation from terrorists captured, limited research material or no access to classified documentation. However, for this research a satisfying amount of primary sources has opened up for a rare opportunity to analyse the target selection process of a solo terrorist. Hence we can here not just learn from the two targets actually attacked, but just as much the targets he considered, but did not choose to attack. The result is a more complete picture of the whole process. This research, illustrating the operational phase of the 22.July attacks in a detailed manner, has found that even a ruthless terrorist like Anders Behring Breivik acted under the influence of a number of constraints. These were caused by a variety of ideological, strategic and operational variables, as well as the psychological dimension and his personality disorder – in sum settling his scope for action. Also, as the different variables interacted, it is evident that the target selection process of Breivik became very dynamic. As the preparations were initiated he experienced how original ideas and plans had to be adjusted and changed in a short period of time - until the very day of the attacks. In conclusion, this study of Anders Behring Breivik’s target selection process contributes to a better understanding of his rationality with regard to the targeting, why things developed as they did, and how dynamics and pragmatism can play a considerably role during such a process.
Brian J. Phillips Who’s Afraid of a Lone Wolf? North Atlantic Exceptionalism, Organizational Dynamics, and Terrorist Attack Lethality. The world faces an increasing threat of lone wolf terrorism, but we still know relatively little about the seriousness of this threat. How dangerous are lone-actor terrorists? A growing body of empirical research focuses on terrorist organizations, but similar work on lone actors is sparse. Furthermore, attempts to explicitly compare these two types of terrorist actors are even more rare, and no such study exists using global data. This paper offers an argument for why we should expect differences between individuals and organizations, drawing on organizational theory and important research on groups and lone wolves. It then uses worldwide data on terrorist attacks, 1970-2011, to compare the lethality of these actors. Results suggest that answers depend in part on how we define “lone wolf.” Overall, attacks by organizations are more lethal than attacks by individuals. Interestingly, an attack by a single perpetrator who is a member of a terrorist organization results in about three times more fatalities than an attack by an unaffiliated single perpetrator. North America and Western Europe are unusual in that lone wolves are especially lethal in these regions, suggesting different policy implications for different regions.
Paul Gill and James Silver Different Crimes, Different Offenders? Comparing Lone-Actor Terrorists and Public Mass Casualty Offenders Utilizing two unique offender datasets, this paper first provides a descriptive analysis of the socio-demographic, network characteristics and antecedent behaviors of lone-actor terrorists, and mass casualty perpetrators leading up to their planning or conducting of a violent event. The paper then seeks to empirically demonstrate the grounds upon which the sample of offenders significantly differ from one another in terms of behaviors and offender characteristics across two qualitatively derived factors. This will be conducted using a standard set of bivariate and multivariate analyses.
Denis Fischbacher-Smith, Adrian Dwyer, Colin MacDonald and Damian Worsley Needles in a haystack: early warnings and weak signals around terrorist threats from home-grown, lone-actor, and insider threats This paper seeks to address the issue of home-grown, lone-actor, and insider terrorist threats by considering the nature of the terms and setting them within the context of a wider set of globalizing ‘drivers’ for radicalization and skills development. The paper conceptualises these actors as a nested problem and argues that there are common underlying processes that apply across the threat matrix that they generate. The paper also explores the manner in which organisations respond to the processes around the challenges from insider threats, the ways in which those individuals can erode the defences that are in place within the organisation, and the processes by which insiders seek to identify vulnerabilities within control systems and move the organisation to an unstable state. A key element of this discussion concerns the processes by which organisations become blind to the threats that they face. Following on from a discussion of the processes by which individuals develop extremist views, the paper considers the nature of the capabilities that terrorists have and the manner in which they are developed through multiple channels of information gathering. The paper considers the processes around early warnings, weak signals, and near misses drawn from literatures relating to crisis management and ergonomics and applies them to the manner in which early warnings of terrorist behaviours are dealt with in the UK. The paper is drawn on the experience of the authors across three police forces in the UK and in a Government Department concerned with the prevention and response to terrorist related threats. Of particular importance in the paper is the conceptualisation of ‘paradigm blindness’ as a barrier to the recognition of emergent threats by policy makers and the processes that can be used to overcome those barriers to learning. The paper uses a number of case studies to illustrate the nature of the problems around early warnings and attempts to consider the potential points of intervention for the mitigation of emergent forms of threat. Whilst the paper is informed by a number of on-going cases, the paper draws upon open source material to illustrate the detail of these processes. Of particular importance here is the attempt to identify and categorise the barriers and constraints that mitigate government and police attempts to pre-empt attacks, the challenges that are imposed by the UK’s legal system (and the differences that exist between England and Scotland), and the challenges of working across different legal systems in a semi-federalised state. The paper moves on to consider the policy challenges that the three groups of actors generate and particularly the opaque nature of the terrorists themselves. The paper concludes by considering the threat from home-grown terrorists and the nature of vulnerability within societal systems as a means of shaping the nature of the threat that we face.
Federal Bureau of Investigation National Counter Terrorism Center Massachusetts State Police White House Plenary Roundtable Discussion  


Presenter Title Abstract


Emily Corner Comparative Behavioural Analyses of Mental Illness across Terrorist Actors and Mass Casualty Offenders Expanding upon the multidisciplinary statistical approach utilised by Corner and Gill, (Forthcoming) this work focuses upon behavioural comparisons of group and lone actor terrorists, and mass casualty offenders. Historically, the consensus of opinion across terrorist research has demonstrated a false dichotomy; targeted violence is the action of a rational terrorist or a mentally unstable civilian. More contemporary research provides fresh evidence against this dichotomy and demonstrates differences in prevalence of mental illness across terrorist actor types. This research is novel, in that it also considers a control group of non-politically motivated mass casualty offenders. By utilising and collaborating three unique open source datasets, the current work models, and builds upon Corner and Gill’s inferential statistical analyses. 1) Comparisons of mental illness are made between group and lone actor terrorists, centred upon their ideological preferences. 2) Inferential statistical analyses test multiple hypotheses, measuring the effect of mental illness on antecedents and behaviours of lone actors and mass casualty offenders. 3) Mental illness is conceptualised as a categorical variable; the effect of number and co-morbidity of diagnoses upon antecedents and behaviour is analysed. Resulting statistical evidence is presented in line with contemporary theories and evidence, and implications for security and mental health practice discussed.
Paul Gill and John Morrison As Time Goes By: A Quantitative Analysis of the Significance of Anniversaries in the Timing of Terrorist Attacks It is often posited that the risk of a terrorist attack is more pronounced in the build-up to important conflict-related anniversaries. Anniversaries of previous successfully executed and high-profile attacks, or key historical events, are often said to spur the organization to act. The same is said to be true for the anniversaries of blue-team related atrocities. Despite these public statements from policy-makers, statesmen and the media alike, this remains empirically untested within the academic literature. Instead, anecdotal evidence of isolated accounts abound. This paper addresses this issue using the preliminary analysis of a chosen case study. The aim is to (a) measure whether terrorist attacks are clustered in space and time around the time of key conflict-related anniversaries and (b) test whether aspects of the offence (e.g. did it cause fatalities) increase or decrease the risk of the next attack occurring in the same geographical area, or those nearby. As such, it contributes to the growing number of spatio-temporal analyses of terrorism incidents (Rossmo and Harries (2011; Townsley et al. 2008; Berrebi and Lakdawalla, 2007; LaFree et al. 2012). In order to test the clustering patterns we will conduct a series of methodological tests including Lorenz curves, thematic maps, Kolmogorov-Smirnov test, spatial regressions, binary logistic regression analysis, timecodes and hazard estimates.
Kiran Sarma, Daniela Pisoiu, Robert Pelzer, and Meabh Ni Maolalaidh Social cognitive risk factors implicated in violent radicalization: A systematic review to aid the design of novel counter-radicalisation initiatives. Objectives: Social Cognitive Theory views cognition as a proximal determinant of behavior. In forensic settings this has translated into a wide range of interventions that seek deal with cognitions that are criminogenic in nature. More recently there is evidence that similar approaches are being used in counter-radicalisation initiatives. However, this is being done without a firm evidence base – a prerequisite if such initiatives can adopt Evidence-Based-Practice (EBP). The present paper contributes to this evidence base by conducting a systematic review of the existing published empirical studies on social cognitive factors implicated in radicalisation. Method: A comprehensive systematic search of 11 psychology electronic databases (i.e. PsycINFO; PsycARTICLES; PsycCRITIQUES; SCOPUS; Web of Science; PubMed;; ArticleFirst; First Search; Science Direct and JSTOR) was conducted. To be included in the review, papers had to be empirical in nature (qualitative, quantitative and case studies), be specifically related to radicalisation into terrorism and have been published in English. Results: In our synthesis of the evidence we focus on factors that could be used in the design of novel initiatives. In line with Social Cognitive Theory, this deals with the role of cognition, social experiences, and behaviour and how these three act bi-directionally on each other in the process of violent radicalisation. We also consider issues relating to morality and moral decision-making. Implications: The results have implications for front-line practitioners seeking to develop evidence-based initiatives. This includes initiatives that seek to build resilience at community level (in post-primary education for example), and those that work with individuals who have been identified as ‘at-risk’ of violent radicalisation.
Jon Cole The Identifying Vulnerable People (IVP) guidance: A structured professional judgment tool for preventing violent extremism. The IVP guidance has been designed for use by public sector agencies as a structured professional judgment tool to support their decision-making regarding individuals at risk of becoming involved in acts of violent extremism. The IVP Guidance is ideologically neutral and is applicable to all known violent extremist groups. The ethos of this guidance involves the early identification of, and intervention with, people who are vulnerable to being targeted for recruitment into violent extremist activity. We have set out a series of criteria collated into three levels of concern and potential intervention, based on an individual’s progression from being ‘at risk’ of adopting violent extremist belief systems to violent extremist behaviours. The levels of concern also have recommendations for actions by practitioners completing the assessment. Early identification of vulnerability should allow public sector workers to provide constructive intervention and referral pathways to support ‘at risk’ individuals. It should raise levels of awareness for public sector workers about those behaviours that cause concern as well as disabuse them of potentially widely held but erroneous beliefs about violent extremism risk factors. As such, it is intended principally as an educative tool. This should improve engagement and decision-making by public sector workers in relation to the risk of terrorism and the threat of politically and religiously motivated violence.


Kate Barrelle The challenge of understanding and evaluating CVE: An Australian case study Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) is an experimental area which inevitably involves risks. International experience has shown that programs may be ineffectual because they target individuals or communities who were not in fact vulnerable, use imprecise methodologies or may even be counter-productive to primary objectives. As most experienced CVE researchers and practitioners concur, 'best practice' models simply do not yet exist in this field. Hence, recent research has focused on taking best practice models from the areas of criminology and evaluation and adapting them to the CVE arena. The 2010 Australian Counter-Terrorism White Paper marked Australia’s shift towards a CVE approach to counter-terrorism. Since that time the two presenters have been involved in the implementation and evaluation of a range of CVE projects throughout Australia. Most recently, the presenters (under a project directed by the Australian Institute of Criminology) were engaged by the major national body funding and directing the CVE effort in Australia to review all activities conducted since the bodies formal inception. The on the job learnings and retrospective analysis of CVE program implementation, design and evaluation gained by the presenters have prompted the following conceptualisation of CVE in Australia. The main focus of the proposed presentation involves the framing of CVE efforts in Australia within the well-established three level public health model of prevention. This model categorises intervention strategies as primary designed to address the potential for problematic behaviour in large groups of people or the population in general, secondary designed to specifically target people who are at greater risk of developing a problem or behaviour, ortertiary designed to physically intervene in situations where the consequences are relatively certain. How this model has been adapted to CVE and the insights gained when analysing programs run in Australia using this framework will form the crux of the presentation. The potential use of this framework in evaluating CVE at both the project and program/strategic level will also be discussed. Suggestions for enhanced future evaluation methodology will made. The presentation will finish by discussing the future evolution of CVE in Australia and what can be learned from international experience.
John Bahadur Lamb From the ‘Suspect Community’ to the ‘Partnership Community’: altering police/community counter-terrorism relations for mutual gain. Utilising data from a case study of PREVENT policing in the West Midlands (Bahadur Lamb 2013) this paper argues that recent counter-terrorism policing practices have rendered the ‘Suspect Community’ thesis (Hillyard 1993, Panatazis and Pemberton 2009) obsolete. In its place the author argues that a ‘Partnership Community’ now exists, in the West Midlands at least, where overt, uniformed counter-terrorism officers work alongside communities to reach mutually beneficial outcomes when dealing with violent extremism and its pre-cursor offences. Exactly how and why such an altering of police/community relations has taken place is explored and the benefits such a move to a ‘softer’ counter-terrorism approach may have are discussed.
Kacper Rekawek “Nothing ever happens in the St. Florian Valley?” The Myth and Reality of Counter Terrorism in Central Europe Central Europe, a region encompassing formerly communist European countries which now belong to both the European Union and NATO, is not widely known as a hub of terrorism and, consequently, best practices in counter terrorism. Nonetheless, countries of this region are not immune from terrorist activity, nor are they free from low level terrorism-lite violence emanating from domestic right and left wing extremists. Thus the region is not a complete “terrorism-free zone.” However, given the relative low level nature of the threat in Central Europe, one is poised to ask whether the region could perhaps be a “counter terrorism free zone?” This papers summarises author’s observations from conducting counter terrorism field work in eight countries of the region (Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia) and presents evidence to the contrary with Central Europe definitely not oblivious to the ins and outs of counter terrorism. However, it also focuses on the reality of devising and implementing such a policy in countries in which “the terrorist threat is low” and where the “St. Florian valley” approach of ensuring national security through professing international insignificance, isolation, provincialism and lack of interest in major international crises is dominant. Consequently, it focuses on internal, and often petty, obstacles which complicate the work of counter terrorism practitioners in the aforementioned EU, NATO and Schengen Area post-communist countries. The paper dispels the myth of lack interest in counter terrorism in Central Europe and simultaneously exposes a seemingly robust counter terrorism policy development process, often for the benefit of meeting external obligations and expectations (emanating from the European Union or NATO), which is nonetheless being hamstrung by the “St. Florian valley” phenomenon, and the belief that a major terrorist attack simply cannot happen in Central Europe. It comparatively assesses the struggles of security practitioners, themselves converts in their quest for more thorough counter terrorism, who are attempting to convert and convince their superiors, officials and the general public of the need to perceive the terrorist threat more seriously. This paper fits into the Conference’s themes of “How Counter Terrorism Policy is made” and “Cross-National & Comparative Studies of Counter-Terrorism Policies and Strategies.”
Joshua Regan Tajikistan: Insecurities That Harbor Insurgency Political terrorism is a global conflict. Typically, research on this issue focuses on Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Yemen, and the Palestinian Territories. This policy paper explores the vulnerable country of Tajikistan and its ability to overcome political terrorism. Located in Central Asia, Tajikistan is shackled with multiple internal conflicts including increasing poverty, high rates of government corruption, out-migration to Russia, an expanding drug industry, and insufficient energy sources to foster economic development. This policy paper’s findings indicate Tajikistan is not currently in a position to overcome these political, social, and economic challenges. Terrorist organizations and extremist groups utilize these deficiencies as fuel for their cause and Tajikistan is no exception. Tajikistan has witnessed steady increases in insurgency over the last several years; a portion of this has been linked to the displacement of Al Qaeda and Taliban operatives in Afghanistan. Additionally, scholars cite tensions between Tajikistan and its neighboring states as a source of general instability. Overall, Tajikistan faces a variety of challenges, many of which are predicted to increase in severity. How Tajikistan adapts and addresses these challenges will severely impact Tajikistan’s vitality.


Neil Ferguson and Eve Binks Radicalisation and engagement in political violence explored through conversion motifs According to Jindra (2011), although there is considerable literature on processes of conversion, there is a lack of research which compares the processes between different groups. The majority of research in this area (e.g. Rambo, 1993, 1999; Paloutzian et al., 1999; C’de Baca & Wilbourne, 2004) focuses on religious conversions, suggesting that conversion is far from passive and submissive, rather, individuals have agency and these processes of conversion are often innovative and resistant. The current study seeks to investigate the process of conversion, drawing upon theories such as Quantum Change (Miller & C’de Baca, 1994) to investigate the processes of radicalisation and engagement in politically motivated violence, commonly referred to as terrorism. Such theories have yet to be developed by international scholars and the current research represents a leading attempt at developing a more holistic understanding of the processes involved in conversions to terrorism. In this way it is hoped that the current research will aid civilian, military and government understandings of these processes.
Meabh ni Maolalidh and Kiran Sarma Social cognitive risk factors implicated in violent radicalization: A systematic review to aid the design of novel counter-radicalisation initiatives. Objectives: Social Cognitive Theory views cognition as a proximal determinant of behavior. In forensic settings this has translated into a wide range of interventions that seek deal with cognitions that are criminogenic in nature. More recently there is evidence that similar approaches are being used in counter-radicalisation initiatives. However, this is being done without a firm evidence base – a prerequisite if such initiatives can adopt Evidence-Based-Practice (EBP). The present paper contributes to this evidence base by conducting a systematic review of the existing published empirical studies on social cognitive factors implicated in radicalisation. Method: A comprehensive systematic search of 11 psychology electronic databases (i.e. PsycINFO; PsycARTICLES; PsycCRITIQUES; SCOPUS; Web of Science; PubMed;; ArticleFirst; First Search; Science Direct and JSTOR) was conducted. To be included in the review, papers had to be empirical in nature (qualitative, quantitative and case studies), be specifically related to radicalisation into terrorism and have been published in English. Results: In our synthesis of the evidence we focus on factors that could be used in the design of novel initiatives. In line with Social Cognitive Theory, this deals with the role of cognition, social experiences, and behaviour and how these three act bi-directionally on each other in the process of violent radicalisation. We also consider issues relating to morality and moral decision-making. Implications: The results have implications for front-line practitioners seeking to develop evidence-based initiatives. This includes initiatives that seek to build resilience at community level (in post-primary education for example), and those that work with individuals who have been identified as ‘at-risk’ of violent radicalisation.
Bart Schuurman, Quirine Eijkman and Edwin Bakker Early Warning of Terrorism and Radicalization: Towards a Tool for Threat Analysis Is it possible to identify behaviors or expressions that can betray the intent of individuals or groups to commit acts of terrorism? With that question the Dutch authorities approached Leiden University’s Center for Terrorism and Counterterrorism in 2011. The two-year collaboration that followed aimed to uncover possible ‘indicators’ of terrorism and radicalization. It did so by conducting seven in-depth, primary-sources based case studies of homegrown jihadism in three western countries. This project was geared towards providing practical insights and tools that could assist police and security services in the early detection and prevention of terrorist plots. The goal of this conference paper is to discuss how this research was conducted, to present the most important findings and to close with a critical reflection on their utility. The existing literature on this topic is limited in size and, some important exceptions notwithstanding, has produced few in-depth analyses. This offers plentiful opportunities for researchers wishing to develop a new direction in terrorism studies. But it also means that there is little in the way of a theoretical or empirical basis on which to build. As a consequence, research on potential indicators of terrorism and radicalization is largely exploratory in nature. The authors do not claim to have uncovered causal relationships between certain behavior or certain expressions and the intention of individuals or groups to commit terrorist attacks. Instead, they identify behaviors and expressions that, when analyzed in conjunction with each other and within the context of an active investigation of a group or individual of interest, can provide important guidance for establishing a terrorist threat assessment. The indicators research project proceeded from a literature study which identified that; a) terrorist groups do frequently produce observable behaviors and expressions that betray their intent and b) such information has a proven utility when it comes to law enforcement and intelligence agencies’ ability to detect and prevent terrorist plots. These findings were used to create a preliminary analytical framework of the different stages leading up to a terrorist attack, along with potential indicators of those different stages. Subsequently, an iterative process of improvement began by applying the framework and its accompanying indicators to seven case studies of homegrown jihadist terrorism that occurred between 2004 and 2007 in The Netherlands, Germany and Australia. All of these case studies were built on unique primary sources such as police files and interviews with subject matter experts. Ultimately this approach yielded an analytical framework that identifies seven dimensions relevant to detecting groups or individuals’ intentions to commit a terrorist attack. These are the individual characteristics of the persons of interest, ideological radicalization, organizational development, attack planning, attack preparation, operational security and related activities. The indicators attached to each of these phases are subdivided based on their inherent threat level. As a tool that can assist authorities with detecting and preventing terrorist threats, the authors believe this paper fits well with the STR conference goal of promoting collaboration between academics and CT practitioners.
Noémie Bouhana "Evidence does not speak for itself": Tackling the problem of systemic causality for policy-relevant research on radicalization In a recent article published in Criminology and Public Policy, Sampson, Winship and Knight (2013) identify three problems which must be addressed imperatively to allow for the translation of criminological research findings into policy recommendations: mechanisms and causal pathways; effect heterogeneity; and contextualization. Arguably, each of these problems are entangled and derive from the unique features of causality in social systems. The present paper examines the problem of systemic causality in the challenging context of research on radicalization. It presents a strategy to tackle the obstacles to the translation identified by Sampson and colleagues, drawing examples from ongoing work carried out as part of the EU-funded FP7 PRIME Project. This 3-year, €2.9M research endeavor brings together social scientists, engineers and practitioners to develop causal graphs of the radicalization, attack preparation and attack phases of lone actor extremist events, in order to inform the design of a range of context-sensitive counter-measures to be implemented by local and national stakeholders.


Amy DeVries and Oliver Lanning Ministry of Defence ‘Countering Terrorist Networks’ Programme: Innovative Perspectives for Countering Current and Future Threats. With the drawdown of UK Military Operations in Afghanistan, the UK MoD scientific community is refocusing investment into the future non-state threats to the UK and UK forces. These threats are asymmetrical, diverse, and somewhat different to experiences in Iraq and Afghanistan; this demands a reinvigorated research agenda. The UK Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (DSTL) have initiated a project under the ‘Countering Terrorist Networks’(CTN) Programme, tasked with promoting creative and innovative ways of conceptualising non-state threats. In terms of new challenges, the advent of social technologies and rise of the Mega-City within failing States presents further complexity for Counter-Terrorism operations. Modern technologies also facilitate interactions between and within threat groups. Social Media can generate more indirect threats through the potential exposure of local actions on a global scale; this has the potential to engage the global population on broader topics of discontent. These factors demand the development of a more sophisticated understanding of the emergence and evolution of violent extremist groups, as well as more accurately representing the different layers of the threat (e.g. social, political, economic). The CTN Programme seeks to engage a broad spectrum of disciplines (and the integration of potentially disparate disciplines), as well as drawing on non-terrorism related research in order to better understand and ultimately ‘model’ threat networks. The project aims to do this by provoking critical thought on new perspectives and contest existing approaches within the terrorism field. To achieve this, DSTL will facilitate greater insight into the challenges faced by UK Defence. DSTL intend to engage academia and industry through a variety of methods e.g. seminars, sandpit events, white papers, use of social media; as well as directing bespoke challenges, calls for proposals and innovation funding. One of the main challenges is the translation of academic research into practical methods that can be applied by users in an agile, flexible and rapid manner. This is particularly relevant to the Social Sciences in terms of how to validate insights for use by non-specialists. DSTL are actively seeking expressions of interest from individuals, groups and institutions who think they can support these objectives, and would welcome dialogue on any of the issues raised.
Peter Leitner The Muslim Brotherhood versus U.S. Law Enforcement: Challenges and Solutions Law enforcement and prison personnel throughout North America have long been the targets of misinformation and intimidation campaigns led by the Muslim Brotherhood and their affiliates. The purpose of these efforts has been to weaken the situational awareness of their subversive and criminal Islamist activities within jurisdictions so as to allow their destabilizing operations to continue undisturbed. Our presentation documents many of the tools and methods employed by these actors, their successes and failures, as well as effective countermeasures key personnel can engage in to better protect their communities. We address some emerging technology issues, most notably the use of remotely piloted vehicles (RPV’s) and their offensive, defensive, and counterintelligence strengths and vulnerabilities. Dr. Peter M. Leitner is a co-Founder and Research Director of Citizens For National Security. His 33-year government career includes 19 years in the Office of the Secretary of Defense as senior strategic trade advisor; and, he has provided intelligence and anti-terrorism training to thousands of state and local investigators, law enforcement personnel, the CIA, FBI, Marine Corps and other federal agencies through the Higgins Counterterrorism Research Center which he founded.
Jeff Thompson and Adam Dolnik Crisis Negotiation Techniques In Terrorist Incidents: It’s Been 10 Years Since Beslan- What Have We Learned? This September (2014) marks the 10-year anniversary of the terrorist incident in Beslan, Russia. Chechen terrorists seized a school full of young students, faculty, and staff totally more than 1,200 people. The incident concluded after 52 hours when Russian authorities initiated a full-scaled assault on the school building. By the conclusion of the siege 331 people died including 176 children (Dolnik, 2010; Dolnik, 2007). Crisis and hostage negotiation strategies played a critical role throughout the incident offering numerous opportunities to reflect on the tactics used by both the Russians and terrorists. A review of the crisis and hostage negotiation literature reveals how an incident such as Beslan and other terrorist related hostage taking incidents require law enforcement negotiators to employ a distinct strategy that is not identical to “traditional” crisis and hostage incidents (Dolnik, 2007; Dolnik, 2010; Faure & Zartman, 2010; Giebels & Noelanders, 2004; Giebels & Taylor, 2012; Goergen, 2006; Hayes, Kaminski, Beres, 2004; IIASA Policy Brief, 2009; McMains & Mullins, 2014; Nacos, 2012; Pinder, 2010; Strentz, 2012). This paper refers to the detailed scholarship on the Beslan terrorist incident identifying multiple opportunities when the uses of strategic negotiation skills were deficient (Dolnik, 2010; Dolnik, 2007). Based on the research this paper explains how during multiple moments throughout the siege the unique application of traditional negotiation skills could have increased the opportunity for mutually beneficial and peaceful “micro” agreements to occur. This short paper and corresponding infographic/poster is intended to offer the academic findings of the scholarship on this incident and present them in a compendious manner providing direct relevance for law enforcement crisis and hostage negotiators, policy makers, and law enforcement executive staff. Based on the data the paper includes recommendations and considerations to be addressed before and during similar incidents. This includes training, intra and inter-group communication, negotiation tactics, and the immergence of the role of technology. Therefore the intention of this paper is to assist preparing the intended audience for future incidents, as it is more likely not if something similar to Beslan will occur but instead it is only a matter of when it will happen. Being prepared and identifying the opportunities to negotiate increase the chances for a peaceful resolution to occur.
David McIlhatton and Rachel Monaghan The role of 3D geospatial technology in counter-terrorism Counter-terrorism agencies outside of the United States of America have been slow to utilize geospatial information and technology as part of their emergency planning, response and management of terrorist attacks. The following paper draws upon research examining the potential role of geographic information systems in providing a mechanism for policing and law enforcement agencies to better prepare for, respond to, and prevent terrorist instances, which in turn, reduces the impact on the wider built environment. In the case of this research, bespoke technology has been developed to enhance the service offering of counter-terrorism professionals, providing them with functionality and information that hitherto was not necessarily available or their benefits fully understood. The paper presents the rationale for innovative technology for the counter-terrorism world and the benefits that resonate with relatively limited investment. Indeed, one of the biggest barriers surrounding the uptake of geospatial technology has been the issue of cost, however, the research proposed in this paper illustrates significantly the potentiality of developing a 3D counter-terrorism model and the sometimes not realized, multi-purpose use of such technology in the wider resilience environment within policing and law enforcement.
Gerald M. McMahon and Edward J. Valla Want to Find the Next Terrorist? Try Amazon, Not the FBI: How Industry Can Use Customer Analytics to Identify the Next Homegrown Terrorist Traditional counterterrorism relies on governments’ ability to leverage a variety of intelligence sources to detect and disrupt terrorist networks and plans. In response, some terrorist groups encourage individuals or small networks to use and even rely on publicly available information to inform the development of weapons and targeting. To cite perhaps the most prominent current example, Al-Qa’ida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) has provided detailed instructions for constructing improvised explosive devices (IEDs) using widely available materials—quite literally, “bombs from the kitchen of your mom.” Lone actors, or an insular group, who purchase common goods in advance of terrorist plots, may raise little suspicion with either law enforcement agencies or the general public. These patterns of consumer activity, however, may be detectable to private industry whose customer analytics can identify patterns of conduct inconsistent with prior purchasing history and consistent with likely pre-operational activity. Without authorized access to such data, the US Government is reliant upon industry to act as good Samaritans to “say something if they see something.” As the private sector’s use of Big Data evolves, it is likely that Amazon (WallMart, Target, etc.) may be better positioned to detect the next HVE than the FBI. Will they use this information to identify potential terrorists and if so will they report it? This paper will examine trends in HVE activity, particularly pre-operational conduct in light of efforts by AQAP and others to inspire and arm independent actors with the information necessary to carry out attacks in the Homeland. Further, research will identify the private sector’s use of Big Data and customer analytics to monitor and predict consumer behavior. Analysis will examine the efficacy of using such techniques to identify criminal activity consistent with HVEs. The paper will also examine the legal and ethical concerns regarding private industry’s “duty to warn” in a climate of increasing concern over privacy.


John Horgan Disillusionment, Self-Concealment and Guilt Transfer: The Social and Psychological Qualities of Engagement in Violent Extremism  
Matthew Francis A new model for understanding the role of non-negotiable beliefs in terrorist behaviour. In this paper, I challenge the privileged place given to religion in many discourses on violent and/or terrorist organisations. In its place, I suggest that an analysis of the non-negotiable beliefs of groups, both secular and religious, provides a more meaningful and constructive approach to understanding the potentialities of violence developing from group’s ideologies. Many accounts of groups, including al Qaeda and Hizb ut-Tahrir, have focused on the role that religious beliefs have played in violent discourses and actions. In this paper, I discuss how I examined the statements of these groups to understand the context and details of their beliefs, and where these might suggest the potential for violent conflict with their perceived enemies. This approach suggests a shift from a focus on ‘religious’ discourses to those of non-negotiable or ‘sacred’ values and beliefs, which might equally be shared in form and/or content by non-religious groups. In making this distinction, I demonstrate a framework that offers a more nuanced understanding of the move to violent beliefs which, in turn, can provide a more intelligent response to this move by policy makers and practitioners interested in countering terrorism.
Jeff Weyers and Jon Cole Applying the Identifying Vulnerable People (IVP) guidance: Social media and web 2.0. The IVP guidance has been designed for use by public sector agencies as a structured professional judgment tool to support their decision-making regarding individuals at risk of becoming involved in acts of violent extremism. In order to examine its utility for identifying ‘at risk’ individuals, the social media activity of a variety of banned terrorist organisations from a variety of backgrounds (e.g. Islamist, Sikh, and Tamil) was assessed. Numerous instances of violent extremist activity were identified and in some cases there was clear evidence of criminality. The IVP guidance criteria were able to assist in the identification of those who were ‘at risk’, those were actively engaged in violent extremism, and some individuals who were actively radicalising and recruiting others. The guidance criteria were also able to assist decision making around website content.
Lorne L. Dawson Religion and the Social Ecology of Terrorist Radicalization: The Surprising Missing Link With a few exceptions, the study of jihadist terrorism, and especially the “homegrown” variety, displays a notable shortcoming: the causal role of religion is consistently acknowledged and then discounted. This presentation delineates and illustrates how this happens, and reflects on why it may be happening. I then argue why this practice is unjustified and detrimental to the explanation of this and some other kinds of terrorist activity. As Talcott Parsons argued long ago, the scientific study of any social phenomenon must take into consideration the systematic and differential analysis of the reciprocal effects of multiple variables. I will examine the failure to do so, with regard to religion, in the work of three of the most influential psychologists studying terrorist radicalization, Marc Sageman, Andrew Silke, and Clark McCauley. I will also explain why the standard objections raised against the religiousness of homegrown terrorists stem from an inadequate understanding of the nature, operation, and consequences of extreme religious commitments, and explore some of the policy implications of failing to correct this misunderstanding.


Tina Billington-Hughes The Feasibility of a Universal Law in the Fight against Cyberterrorism In a rapidly advancing world of internet enabled technology (The Economist, 2010), to predict what the internet will look like in the future is impossible. What is clear is that terrorists have become increasingly proficient in the use of the internet for the purpose of recruitment, training and propaganda (Interpol). But, it is still argued that they have not yet progressed to using the internet as a weapon and cyber-terrorism is still considered a mythological concept (Iqbal, 2004). There is strict national legislation governing law enforcement tactics to monitor the activities of terrorists and organised criminality but the borderless nature of cyberspace (Grabosky, 2005) places no such constraints on these groups. International law was not designed for cyber-crime hence the reason it is considered ineffective and inadequate (Fidler, 2012) for this purpose. The applicability of international law around cybersecurity and cyberspace (Fidler, 2012) will continue to be laden with difficulties (White House, 2011) unless specific legislation governing internet use for terrorist and transnational organised crime purposes is established. The frightening reality is that despite widespread scepticism, I would argue that today’s technology literate terrorists are capable of conducting attacks with the flick of a switch and we should not become complacent about that possibility. To do so would be highly irresponsible and place national security in an even more precarious position. This paper will attempt to assess the reality of cyber-terrorism - the use of the internet for terrorist purposes - and whether the integration of national and international legislation would be a feasible in the battle against cybercrime.
Aaron Hoffman and William Shelby Breaking the laws of fear: effective counterterrorism, danger control, and the fear of terrorism. We investigate how information about successful counterterrorism efforts influences Americans’ (1) anxiety about future attacks and (2) confidence in the U.S. and Israeli governments’ efforts to control terrorist activity. Our analysis relies on three experiments in which we manipulated information about efficacious counterterrorism efforts by either the Israeli or U.S. governments. The results show that those who were exposed to information about effective counterterrorism expressed more confidence in the ability of the Israeli and U.S. governments to either protect citizens from future attacks or prevent future violence than those who did not receive these treatments. In two of the three experiments, subjects who received information about counterterrorism also thought the chances of future attacks either in Israel of the U.S. were higher than those who did not receive these cues. Nevertheless, the introduction of information about effective counterterrorism appears to persuade people that dangers posed by terrorism are manageable. These findings are consistent with psychological work on “fear appeals” (Witte 1992) that suggests that the ability to cope with threats is influenced by the availability of effective danger control mechanisms. The results imply that democratic governments can improve their citizens’ ability to cope with terrorist attacks by publicizing their successful efforts to control terrorist activity.
Arthur Kendall Thinking about torture in intelligence gathering. Over the years, I have spoken with many government officials, flag officers, and social scientists about the topic of torture in intelligence gathering. I merely list the concepts that have been mentioned since (1) the respondents are in no way a sample, and (2) the conversations were "not for attribution". Many people bring up the idea that we can gain actionable intelligence via coercive methods. Many people oppose the use of torture because it in immoral, unethical, and/or because it is against international treaties and covenants. There are other perspectives. Some career intelligence officers say that torture is for amateurs and that good training provides ways of gathering information without coercive methods. Some career intelligence officers say that torture creates vast amounts of inaccurate information. They say that following up on such information diverts resources from activities that produce more reliable and actionable intelligence. Some diplomats say that the use of torture reinforces the ideas that we are hypocrites and bullies, that the use of torture does the terrorists' job for them. We are seen as instrumental in bringing about international law for human rights. Some lag officers say that not only is torture ineffective and counterproductive, it violates the honor of the military. Some prosecutors oppose the use of torture and coercive interrogation because any information would be "fruit of the poisonous tree". Some military and foreign service family members oppose the use of torture because they fear that their loved ones would be tortured if they were captured.
Thomas Kane Research on the Public Health, Social, and Psychological Consequences of Terrorism: Evidence for Developing Effective Public Health Programs for Prevention, Preparedness, Response and Treatment/Recovery This paper reviews the research and experience in different populations following exposure to terrorist incidents and related physical and psychological injuries. It explores different preparedness, prevention, response and treatment strategies to prevent or minimize the physical and mental health injuries resulting from these acts, and examines the use of evidence-based treatment, physical rehabilitation and counseling therapies that have been used to assist people experiencing loss of family members, physical injuries (such as loss of limbs, mobility, vision, hearing or disfigurement) and/or other social/psychological injuries such as PTSD, TBI, depression, anxiety resulting from the trauma of a terrorist attack. A synthesis of these findings is made in order to develop more effective models and strategies for public health preparedness, prevention, rapid response, and long-term treatment, counseling or rehabilitation strategies for victims of terrorist acts. Public health and social science research and preparedness and response experience from the U.S. (e.g., 9/11 attack; Oklahoma city bombing; 2001 anthrax attack; 2013 Boston Marathon bombing) and from terrorist attacks in other events countries (e.g., Israel, Japan, Spain, Indonesia, Uganda, Ireland, Kenya, Russia) are reviewed. The paper concludes with a discussion of “lessons learned” from research on the public health impact of terrorism, and recommendations are made for future research related to public health preparedness, prevention and response to terrorism.


Carol Cohn (Moderator) Dyan Mazurana, Phoebe Randel, Roxanne Krystalli, Sandra McEvoy, and Modupe Oshikoya PANEL: Gendering the Study of Terrorism Organized by the Consortium on Gender, Security and Human Rights at UMass-Boston Through using gender analyses, this panel demonstrates that gender is a key factor for studying important dynamics of non-state armed groups (NSAGs). We use the term “non-state armed groups” to encompass a wide range of groups that either have been labeled “terrorist groups” or use “terror tactics.” A gender analysis does not study only women and girls, but instead focuses on gender as identity, gender as structural systems of power, and gendering of institutions. The panelists’ gender analyses of NSAGs brings a more realistic and nuanced understanding of recruitment processes, members’ commitment to a group, dynamics inside the group, the group’s relationship with and treatment of the civilian population, and tactical decisions. Questions include: How are the group’s tactics gendered? Which gendered understandings of social roles, institutions, and militarized identities do groups use or manipulate to meet their goals and in what ways? Each panelist will apply a gender analytical lens to a different case study and the presentations will cover a wide range of groups including: the Maoists (Nepal), al-Shabaab (Somalia), Boko Haram (Nigeria), and Northern Ireland.


Presenter Title Abstract


Kelly Wade-Johnson Legitimacy Dialogues: How the Provisional Irish Republican Army ‘spent’ legitimacy from within the United States of America. This paper examines how the legitimacy gained through the Provisional Irish Republican Army/Sinn Fein’s establishment of contested narratives facilitated a limited amount of legitimation from the United States, and the impact this had upon the behaviour of the PIRA/Sinn Fein, the United States, and the British Government; as attempts were made to continue the overall process of legitimation in the PIRA/Sinn Fein’s favour. The broader theoretical implications of this argument are that legitimacy, as currency, can be strategically invested in one actor with the intention of gaining legitimacy from another - either within the same sphere or within an entirely different one. In this case, the PIRA/Sinn Fein initially targeted the Irish American community at a grass roots level. However, this legitimacy investment provided returns in the form of interest and legitimation for the broader cause of a united Ireland from politicians and, ultimately, the Government of the United States. Yet, there were limits to levels of legitimacy that the United States was willing to give; as the PIRA/Sinn Fein changed its behaviour in response to these limits, it exemplifies the understanding of legitimation as a two-way process of negotiation.
John Morrison United in Their Division, Divided in Their Unity: The Internal Legitimisation of Violent Dissident Irish Republican Groups The on-going activity of violent dissident Irish Republican groups acts as a constant reminder that while the Northern Irish peace process should still be regarded as a success that residual violence continues to disrupt the normalisation of Northern Irish political life. The emergence, in recent years, of groups such as The New IRA has necessitated these organisations and their leadership to legitimise their new form of existence to their membership and support base. The present paper analyses how these groups have gone through this legitimisation process as well as detailing an assessment of why this process is important to the organisations themselves. The research is based on an in-depth analysis of organisational statements, as well as primary data obtained through interviews with leadership and rank and file members of the groups. There is also an examination of violent group activity. The emergence of these new dissident actors invariably comes as the result of either a split from the parent organisation or a merger with a previously independent group. Within this paper there is a comparison between the legitimisation processes applied during both of these forms of organisational origin. The paper concludes with an assessment of how an in-depth understanding of this legitimisation process can be beneficial for those aiming to counter the violent activity, propaganda and continued existence of these and other groups.
Orla Lynch Preventing Political Violence; the role of ex prisoners in Northern Ireland De-radicalisation, counter radicalisation and counter terrorism – these are not terms that resonate amongst those working with youth on the front line in Northern Ireland (NI), yet in other arenas, this is exactly how conflict-related youth work in NI would be conceptualised. Despite a peace process, demilitarisation and the growth of local cross community institutions, young people are still actively seeking involvement in terrorism, and terrorist related activity. A romanticism amongst the generation that came of age in peace time, complex and politicised identities, the continued existence of the so-called dissident republicans and militant unionists and an active criminal element complicating both, continue to ensure a steady stream of youth (predominantly from disadvantaged backgrounds) seeking involvement with paramilitary organisations In recognition of this, there is an active community sector in NI seeking to work with these youth to prevent this involvement and those who claim to be best placed to effect change are precisely those individuals who joined paramilitary organisations and were imprisoned during the Troubles. The role of ex prisoners in what may elsewhere be called (mistakenly) de-radicalisation is poorly understood, underfunded, factionalised and inherently politicised in NI. However, on the ground the work of these individuals is innovative and anecdotally successful. Quite problematically for some, the foundation for much of this work emerges not from the standpoint of violence prevention but (and while continuing to espouse the radical ideology of the original paramilitary groups) concerns itself with structural arguments around the appropriate conditions for violence. This paper will present the results of a study conducted in NI with ex-prisoners (former members of loyalist and republican paramilitary organisations). It will highlight the methods used by the ex-prisoners to work with vulnerable youth, the aims of such efforts and the difficulties undertaking such work. This approach will be examined in comparison to existing terrorism prevention initiatives, pre- and post-offending in other locations.
Carmel Joyce ‘I am the militant dove’: The self-constructions of Republican and Loyalist ex-prisoners as ‘peacemakers’ in post-conflict, Northern Ireland. Former political prisoners play a key role in the peace process in Northern Ireland and continue to mobilise their identities as ‘ex-prisoners’ in order to justify their legitimacy in this context. Despite a proliferation of research in the social identity tradition on the ethno-national categories believed to be at the heart of the conflict (e.g., Muldoon & Downes, 2007), little is known about the identity categories used by Republican and Loyalist ex-prisoners as they managed the accountability of past actions, relative to their current position of peace. This paper will present the findings of research conducted in Northern Ireland with Republican (n= 35) and Loyalist (n=26) ex-prisoners about their role in post conflict initiatives (or associated term of their choosing to encapsulate their work). Findings suggest a clear distinctions in terms of the identity categories mobilized by each subgroup in order to account for their transition from paramilitary to peace practitioner in this context. These differences are reflected in each subgroups interaction with the researcher, the way in which they orient to interview questions, their perceived legitimacy within their communities, as well as the degree of meaningful interaction with ‘youth at risk’. In an effort to convert academic research into practice, a series of best practice recommendations are made for the inclusion of former paramilitaries in both formal and informal counter-terrorism (CT) initiatives. These recommendations will take into consideration variations in experiences among each subgroup and their perceived transition from violent past to peace present.


Gregory Miller Testing the Fourth Wave: Religion and the “New” Terrorism This article examines two complementary assumptions about religious terrorism: that we are currently in a religious wave and that religious terrorism is more lethal than other forms of terrorism. Both assumptions are related to the concept of a “new” terrorism, in which current trends represent a sea change compared to the previous forms of terrorism. The first assumption is that the current fourth wave of modern terrorism, a religious wave, is distinct from the three previous waves of modern terrorism. As David Rapoport suggests, the religious wave began sometime in the early 1980s, and hit its stride with the end of the Cold War. The second assumptions is that because religious terrorism is deadlier than other forms of terrorism, this religious wave is deadlier than previous waves (to paraphrase Brian Jenkins, terrorists no longer just want a lot of people watching, they also want a lot of people dead). To test these assumptions and gauge the degree to which there is a religious wave, and how different religious terrorism is from other forms of terrorism, I first assigned motivation variables to all perpetrators identified in the Global Terrorism Database. I then compared incidents perpetrated by religiously-motivated groups with those carried out by groups having other motivations. This article addresses the first assumption by examining trends in the frequency of religiously motivated terrorism between 1970 and 2010, to determine whether religious terrorism grew more common, especially when compared to other types of terrorism. It studies the second assumption by comparing several characteristics of attacks, including lethality, tactics, and targets, to determine if religiously-motivated groups are deadlier than their secular counterparts. Although I find some evidence that religious terrorism has increased in frequency over the last four decades, other indicators challenge the notion that we are in a religious wave. Likewise, although there is evidence that terrorism has grown deadlier, in conjunction with the increase in religious terrorism, there is little evidence to suggest that religion is the sole cause of the increased lethality. Although these findings provide some support for the concept of the “new” terrorism, they also challenge the assumption of a more deadly religious wave. The article concludes with suggestions on how to better refine how we think about religious terrorism.
C. Dominik Güss and Anastasia Mironova Saints and Suicide Bombers The topics terrorism and suicide bombing in particular are highly emotionally-laden topics. One reason being that the perception of acts of terrorism is not only guided by the data and story of a terrorist act itself, but also by the schemas in the human mind of the perceiver. Schemas can be understood as mental structures of world knowledge and past experiences. Schemas allow fast processing of new information by matching new information with existing schemas. Schemas can refer, for example, to death or suicide. We used three scenarios about suicide in our study. The first scenario was about a saint who willingly accepted his death, the second scenario about a suicide bomber who died during the act, and the third scenario about a person committing suicide due to a serious medical condition. We expect that schemas of Westerners about saints contain mostly positive information, but schemas about suicide bombers contain mostly negative and critical information. We further expect that when stories about saints and suicide bombers are described outside their context, i.e., without headings and names, they will be perceived rather similarly. Then saints would not be perceived as being so different from suicide bombers. Therefore we presented the three scenarios in three different conditions: scenarios using neutral context where names and detailed information is removed, scenarios using neutral context with several priming cues, and scenarios with context such as headings and names. Participants were 70 students. The preliminary analyses show that only introduction of several cues leads to significant distinctions in evaluation of people’s death. Results highlight how context can influence individuals’ schemas and the perception of death and terrorism. Results indicate that media has power and responsibility in how they report about death and suicide terrorism in particular.
Mats Fridlund Terrorism by the word: Terrorism and the underground press during the long 19th Century In 1878 the typesetter Vera Zasulich committed the first act of modern terrorism when she shot the Governor of S:t Petersburg. Zasulich’s violent act was followed by similar assassination attempts setting off the first “wave” of modern terrorism. This new insurrectionary tactics, constituted a violent turn from the classical ‘propaganda by the word’ to the new modern ‘propaganda by the deed’ which we today describe as ‘terrorism’ following the denomination of the militant Russian revolutionists that in the 1880s followed in the wake of Zasulich. At the time of this violent deed Zasulich was working at the clandestine revolutionary printing press Land and Freedom producing insurgent tracts against Russian despotism. Through this she signified in her person this technopolitical switch in the history of political violence, a ‘radicalization’ and a turn from one form of revolutionary practice to another more proactively violent. What Zasulich illustrate is that there was a connection between printing technology and such new revolutionary practice as terrorism and the aim of this paper is to further investigate this connection through a study of the role of underground printing technology in the shaping of revolutionary practice during the long 19th Century. The empirical part is divided into two parts. The first part provide a survey history of the global use during the 19th century of clandestine printing technologies through a survey of the occurrence of articles about the use of underground presses from 1788-1914 in the The Times of London. The resulting cultural history of clandestine print through Western eyes which will provide the starting point for a more detailed history of terrorism and print culture. The earlier study indicated that the majority of underground printing reports came overwhelmingly from the Russian empire. The paper’s second part therefore use literature and archival sources to study Russian underground printing 1860-1905 with an emphasis on what enabling role underground printing technology played in the rise of modern terrorism in Russia by the 1870s and the Russian revolution of 1905 through its political shaping of revolutionists such as Lenin, Trotsky and Stalin. Focus is on the mechanical printing press and the chemical hectograph copying machine, the last which have been described as “that prime weapon of the revolutionary movement”. While 19th century printing presses can be seen as partly products of the first Industrial Revolution, the hectograph was a technology made possible by the synthetic aniline dyes of the Second Industrial Revolution of the 1870s. Clandestine political print culture has previously been described especially in research on 17th Century England and 18th Century France – foremost through Robert Darnton’s work on underground print culture in the French Revolution – and on resistance movements use of underground printing during World War II and on self-published samizdat literature in the Soviet Union. However, there is a dearth of research on the intervening period, a lacuna which this paper aims to fill.
Clarke Jones Are prisons really schools for terrorism? Challenging the rhetoric on prison radicalisation Based on primary research in the Philippines corrective system, the paper challenges existing perceptions about prison radicalisation. These perceptions commonly see prison radicalisation as a growing threat. Prisons are thought to be filled with vulnerable inmates who form captive audiences for radicalisation and recruitment; and, terrorists, once incarcerated, are destined to turn prisons into training grounds for militant activities. Typically, there is limited empirical grounding underpinning these assertions and they appear to be based on only a limited number of high-profile cases. As a result, in countries like the US and Australia, the fear that mainstream prisoners will become radicalised and recruited by terrorist offenders has resulted in costly (and potentially unnecessary) corrective service policy. This policy has traditionally classified all terrorist offenders as ‘high-risk’, subjected to strict security regimes and segregated or isolated them from other mainstream prisoners. Rarely, until now, have alternative strategies been considered or tested to see whether different methods of incarceration, such as integration or dispersal, could contribute to changes in beliefs and behaviour of terrorist offenders. While this paper does not downplay the seriousness of the prison radicalisation threat, it brings a more balanced view to the current discussion on the subject. Until now, very little research has been devoted to examining how terrorist offenders are affected by different environmental settings in prisons and the associated inmate cultures. What’s more, classic penological theory, such as the pains of imprisonment described by Sykes (1958) or the cultural characteristics of prisons depicted by Clemmer (1940), has seldom been applied to see whether prison time changes terrorist offenders’ beliefs and behaviour, and whether it inhibits their efforts to radicalise or recruit mainstream prisoners. The research behind this paper is among the first dedicated to bridging the gap between the fields of classic penology and counter-terrorism, and it brings researchers and practitioners a step closer to understanding the true nature of the prison radicalisation threat. The paper is based primarily on research being conducted by the author in the Philippines corrective system, but also combines an in-depth comparative study of prisons holding terrorist offenders in Australia, the US, the UK, Indonesia and Pakistan. Several interrelated factors that can act to undermine terrorist offenders’ efforts to radicalise and recruit other prisoners when integrated into a mainstream prison population are also examined. These factors can include the prison environment, the prison regime, inmate culture, inmate moral code, patriotism, racism, social barriers and basic survival needs. Because not all prisons are the same, and because each country has its own unique cultural, religious and political characteristics (all of which can promote some or all of these factors in the various prison systems), the author concludes that the radicalisation of mainstream prisoners towards violent extremism is not a foregone conclusion in certain prison environments. Furthermore, in prisons where the main religion is not Islam and where inmate sub-cultures (i.e. criminal gangs) dominate the prison environment, the radicalisation and recruitment of mainstream prisoners can actually be inhibited and, in some cases, has led to the disengagement of terrorist offenders.
David Woodring and Kevin Fitzpatrick Title: 21st Century Radicalization: The Role of the Internet User and Nonuser in Terrorist Outcomes This paper focuses on presenting the first known quantitative analysis of terrorist use of the Internet. The presentation extends earlier work that examines differences between users and nonusers of information communication technologies (ICTs) within the pre-incident planning processes of domestic terrorist movements operating within the United States. In addition, this study offers the first quantitative exploration of the prevalence, types, and purposes of ICT use within terrorist movements, specifically environmental, far-right, and AQAM movements. Using “officially designated” federal terrorism investigations from the American Terrorism Study (ATS), we analyzed extracted evidence of ICT usage among individuals (n =331) engaged in the pre-incident planning processes as members of terrorist movements between 1995-2011. While we find significant differences in terrorist ICT use across terrorist movements, our findings suggest that demographics are not a particularly strong predictor of usage. We discuss using demographics as a “predictor” of ICT use, as well as the significant differences found in usage and why they might exist. Additionally, our analysis finds the highest prevalence of Internet usage among Islamic movements. However, evidence of online radicalization or recruitment was found predominantly among environmental movements. We conclude with a discussion of the implications of our findings for counter terrorism research pertaining to Internet use and for counterterrorism policy.


Michael Williams A utilization-focused guide for conducting terrorism risk reduction program evaluations The present work employs a utilization-focused evaluation perspective to ask the big question regarding so-called deradicalization programs: how to evaluate the degree to which a given terrorism risk reduction initiative reduces post- detainment terrorism engagement. Its dual objectives are: (a) to provide a roadmap for conducting such an impact analysis with a utilization-focus, and (b) to highlight some of the unique challenges (both methodologically and theoretically) that face evaluators in the context of evaluating terrorism risk reduction initiatives. Additionally, the appendices of this work contain both a process checklist for conducting an impact analysis of such initiatives, and an evaluation self-assessment tool.
Claire McCaffrey The Impact of Countering Violent Extremism Initiatives on Muslim Communities in Sydney: PhD Findings An analysis of current academic literature on counter terrorism and related concepts in the Australian context highlights a lack of primary research and first hand data analysis. This research therefore aims to redress this weakness through provision of primary data analysis in an area which is highly contested and timely. Through fieldwork in Sydney, this presentation provides an understanding of the perception of countering violent extremism programmes aimed at reducing radicalisation as well the impact of these programmes on Muslim communities in Sydney. Due to the sensitive nature of this topic as well as my own circumstances such as gender and appearance, gaining access to Muslim communities and gathering participants proved quite difficult. Nonetheless, overcoming these difficulties and building strong relationships within the Muslim communities in Sydney allowed me to gain a deep insight into how these countering violent extremism programmes are received by the Muslim communities and the impact such programmes have on this section of the Australian population. As a result of this research, an evaluation of the effectiveness of these countering violent extremism programmes was possible which highlighted significant shortcomings both at policy and grass roots levels. The shortcomings will be addressed and analysed in this presentation. The presentations further highlight the need for constant policy evaluation and reforms and more academic research in this field.
Shandon Harris-Hogan and Kate Barelle The challenge of understanding and evaluating CVE: An Australian case study Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) is an experimental area which inevitably involves risks. International experience has shown that programs may be ineffectual because they target individuals or communities who were not in fact vulnerable, use imprecise methodologies or may even be counter-productive to primary objectives. As most experienced CVE researchers and practitioners concur, 'best practice' models simply do not yet exist in this field. Hence, recent research has focused on taking best practice models from the areas of criminology and evaluation and adapting them to the CVE arena. The 2010 Australian Counter-Terrorism White Paper marked Australia’s shift towards a CVE approach to counter-terrorism. Since that time the two presenters have been involved in the implementation and evaluation of a range of CVE projects throughout Australia. Most recently, the presenters (under a project directed by the Australian Institute of Criminology) were engaged by the major national body funding and directing the CVE effort in Australia to review all activities conducted since the bodies formal inception. The on the job learnings and retrospective analysis of CVE program implementation, design and evaluation gained by the presenters have prompted the following conceptualisation of CVE in Australia. The main focus of the proposed presentation involves the framing of CVE efforts in Australia within the well-established three level public health model of prevention. This model categorises intervention strategies as primary designed to address the potential for problematic behaviour in large groups of people or the population in general, secondary designed to specifically target people who are at greater risk of developing a problem or behaviour, ortertiary designed to physically intervene in situations where the consequences are relatively certain. How this model has been adapted to CVE and the insights gained when analysing programs run in Australia using this framework will form the crux of the presentation. The potential use of this framework in evaluating CVE at both the project and program/strategic level will also be discussed. Suggestions for enhanced future evaluation methodology will made. The presentation will finish by discussing the future evolution of CVE in Australia and what can be learned from international experience.
Lyndsey Harris The Utility of the Strategic Approach for Countering Terrorism and Extremism Reflecting upon ten years of empirical and published works examining the case studies of Loyalist paramilitaries (The Ulster Defence Association and Ulster Volunteer Force) and The English Defence League (EDL) in the United Kingdom, this paper will seek to identify common themes and assess the utility of the strategic approach in providing policy options for those working in the field of counter-terrorism and extremism. Stripped to its basic components the strategic approach involves identifying the means chosen by the actors to achieve their desired goal or ‘ends’. It is understood that political actors may choose to employ more than one means to achieve their desired ends. For example, a military campaign may be pursued alongside political diplomacy, both of which are orchestrated with the same desired ends. The success of a political actor is not judged on the morality of their military action, or even on the scale of devastation inflicted, but on an assessment of the actor’s ability to use their military instrument to achieve their stated political goals. Essentially, the strategic approach is concerned with explaining the choices and decisions available to actors. A central part of this enquiry involves the strategic analyst seeking to identify the value system of the chosen political actor. In addition, an important assumption of the strategic approach is that actors and their environments can be usefully disaggregated and analyzed in turn. Consequently, the strategic environment is considered the determinant of the information available to an actor and the structure within which actors operate. The author will seek to argue that by examining: how a political actor wishes to achieve their desired target response; how an actor hopes to achieve disorientation; and furthermore consider how they wish to gain legitimacy in the current political environment, a coherent set of policy objectives can be revealed to counter any perceived threat to community cohesion and growth of a populist extremism and also terrorism. This is considered in light of the growing narratives in relation to British Government measures to countering terrorism and extremism in the UK, which appear to be producing a hierarchy of victimhood.
Peter Krause and Liane Young The Impact of Education on Attitudes about terrorism What is the impact of education on one’s attitudes about terrorism? How should “terrorism” be defined? Do we overestimate the threat of terrorism, and do our governments pursue overly aggressive and counterproductive policies at home and abroad that restrict civil liberties and occupy foreign countries? Or do we underestimate the threat of terrorism, and do our governments fail to devote adequate resources and attention to preventing it? What impact might public education campaigns have on public attitudes about terrorism? This project offers exciting empirical evidence to address these scholarly and policy debates by surveying students in numerous universities across the United States before and after completing relevant coursework in political science and related subfields. The findings offer a powerful picture of how an increase in knowledge about political violence and U.S. foreign policy can drive significant changes in individual attitudes.


Hugo Rosemont Irksome partners? Reassessing industrial and academic engagement in CT Strategy Collaboration with industry and academia is widely seen as an important element of any Western nation’s counter-terrorism strategy, yet in practice it has proven difficult to generate meaningful cooperation in this area. Adding to the problem, terrorism researchers have rarely sought to address the reasons why such communication has been difficult to achieve, and what could be done in practical policy terms to address the challenges. This paper addresses this by considering the UK Government’s efforts to engage with academia and industry on counter-terrorism (CT) issues since the AQ-related attacks on London’s transport network in July 2005 (7/7). The paper argues that whilst the Government has endorsed new structures and established a suite of useful information and material on ‘how industry and academia can play their part’ in CT since 7/7, there has been little actual progress in achieving the objective of achieving deeper collaboration for at least four main reasons. Firstly, supporting Sageman’s argument on US arrangements, the UK Government has been hesitant to share sensitive threat-related information with industry and academia for reasons of national security. Secondly, until recently the Government has not had the resources available to be able to pursue effective external engagement; CT officials have judged, perhaps not incorrectly, that with the limited resources at their disposal other pressing priorities must take precedent over working with academia or industry. Thirdly, strong competitive commercial pressures exist within (and across) both academia and industry; these inhibit deeper and more meaningful cooperation with Government. Finally, academics and industry executives working on CT issues often underestimate the political complexities that officials face on a daily basis, and the jealousy with which they will always guard their ‘ownership’ of counter-terrorism policy; ‘helpful’ external advice often fails to take account of this context and so does not resonate with policymakers. The paper recommends that new structures should be created for developing stronger dialogue between Government, industry and academia, before concluding that a profound change in attitude across all parties will be needed before communication and collaboration in CT can be genuinely improved.
Heather Davis Epkins Covering Acts of Terrorism Maximum impact of an act of terrorism depends on the bullhorn of media coverage. Journalists play a crucial role in the terrorism and threat communication process. Indeed, this is a central public to understand when seeking best practices for preparedness, response, and interoperability. Yet, scholars often overlook the insider viewpoint of the press corps themselves. Examining the relationship of media coverage and terrorism can help to describe contemporary framing of terrorism discourse; promote collaboration amongst academic, industry, and practitioners to include national security message curators on the front lines of global media; and provide a rich discussion easily translated for stakeholders who can practically use this information. The purpose of this paper will be to consolidate, connect and summarize concepts, theories, current research, trends and applications within multi-disciplinary scholarship that examine how media cover acts of terrorism. Specifically, the piece will highlight a range of contextual factors that bridge journalism and terrorism. Furthermore, results from in-depth interviews with 35 of Washington, DC’s national security ‘prestige press’ will help inform the paper. The broader discussion will not include over-debated areas of existing analysis, including ‘the oxygen of publicity’ and the historical background on media’s coverage of the ‘war on terror,’ but will instead reveal new areas for critical engagement.
Ugor Gungor Future Trends in Terrorism This article discusses the future trends in terrorism by looking at the changing profile of terrorism over ideology, organization and structure as well as the means and methods used in terrorism. First, the article examines how the ideologies used by terrorist organizations together with their goals and motivations have changed. Second, it elaborates how the organizational structure of terrorist organizations has changed with reference to the network and hierarchical structures of terrorist organizations. Third, the article is dedicated to look at the means and methods of terrorist organizations with special attention to the weapons of mass destruction (WMDs), improvised explosive devices (IEDs) and suicide bombing. Other features of terrorism like cyber terrorism, the growing interconnectedness and interdependency between organized crime and terrorism and the nexus between piracy and terrorism is also addressed. The article argues that there is both change and continuity in terrorism since it is a historical phenomenon and intends to contribute to the discussions on the future of terrorism.
Scott Flower Research training for fieldwork in terrorism studies: Operationalizing a specialized, applied pedagogy to enable cutting-edge empirical research Fieldwork research in Terrorism Studies is demanding and poses unique theoretical, methodological and ethical challenges as well as physical risks to the security and safety of the researcher. Sending scholars overseas to undertake research is also expensive and carries significant operational, legal and reputational risks for universities, particularly if they fail to demonstrate the provision of appropriate training and support. Most importantly the provision of formal, specialized fieldwork research training in applied research methods, ethics and field skills can make a significant contribution to increasing research productivity and research quality in a discipline often criticized for its lack theory, robust methods and reliable primary data. Over the last decade numerous leading scholars of terrorism have called for more empirical, primary data collection that can only be obtained through extended fieldwork. Three years ago Adam Dolnik penned his ‘Brief Primer’ about fieldwork on terrorism, and followed this up last year with an edited collection titled Conducting Terrorism Field Research. Yet despite this awareness and recent efforts there are still no detailed pedagogical approach in the US, UK or Europe that delivers foundational skills for those wishing to conduct fieldwork research on terrorism. This paper presents a curriculum currently delivered as a 10 day intensive subject at the University of Melbourne, which prepares people for fieldwork among vulnerable participants and operating in less secure and/or complex environments for extended periods. The paper describes the subject content and learning process which utilizes a combination of lectures and scenario-based active learning simulations. The paper explains why it is important to extend ‘methods’ from simple quantitative and qualitative dimensions through to factors that have a greater bearing on the ultimate completion of field research such as how a researcher organizes and approaches fieldwork and addresses the unique physical and mental conditions, risk management and contingency planning. It also explore the range of field skills and technologies taught which enable graduate students to understand how their research design and methods interact with the practical risks present in complex and hostile places so that researchers can safely and ethically access, collect and manage data.
Tore Bjørgo Ethical issues in research on terrorism and political violence General standards of research ethics obviously also apply to terrorism research. However, research on terrorism and political violence raises some particular ethical dilemmas. These issues of research ethics have not yet received sufficient attention. For example, academic researchers, investigative journalists, political activists, and analysts in intelligence services and the police may carry out rather similar forms of research but these different categories of analysts are regulated by very diverse ethical frameworks and standards. They vary according to what kinds of data they may use, whether they need to obtain informed and voluntary consent from their research subjects, how they may publish their analysis, and more. Some researchers have multiple roles, combining academic studies with working in the police or intelligence services or being engaged as political activists. Can they use data, information or knowledge obtained from their e.g. police role as part of their academic work? A number of other issues also need to be discussed, for example: How far does the requirement for obtaining informed consent extend when we are doing research on terrorists and violent extremists, e.g on radicalization processes and careers? And how to handle requirements for secrecy, confidentiality and data where individual activists/terrorists may be recognizable? Is it legitimate to interview terrorists who try to use academics to get attention for themselves and their cause? Can (or should) research on terrorism be morally neutral? Who are benefitting from our research, and who funds it? And how open do we need to be about purpose, funding or institutional affiliation when approaching militant activists for interviews? How far can we go in negotiating conditions for the use of their data when approaching militants? Does the general ethical requirement that research should benefit (or at least not cause harm to) research subjects apply to terrorists and violent activists? How do we handle threats and other attempts to intimidate and influence academic researchers? These are some of the ethical issues which need to be addressed and discussed among researchers studying terrorism and violent extremism.