Is there a fine line between hate crime and violent extremism?

2019 has already started off with many global far right headlines. It can be predicted that the year will see a further increase in far right extremism and hate speech.  Populist representation in government is on the increase in Europe, fuelling nationalism and anti-immigrant sentiment.    In Germany the right wing AfD (Alternative for Germany) is on the rise.  […]

Denying the oxygen of publicity to extremists – views of a former police officer

I’m a former counter terrorism (CT) police officer who worked to prevent individuals being drawn towards violent extremist ideologies.  The evolution of Anjem Choudary into the most infamous extremist  recruiter in the UK was one of the issues that played out whilst I worked in this field. The impunity with which he seemed to evade […]

Comment:The new 2018 CONTEST strategy. The devil in the detail?

All eyes interested in matters of security and cohesion will have no doubt devoured the 95 pages of the British government’s fourth iteration of CONTEST, its counter terrorism strategy, launched yesterday by the new Home Secretary Sajid Javid. Billed as ‘a new, more agile, flexible and co-ordinated approach designed to better prevent, detect and disrupt terrorist […]

Gender and the New Counter-Terrorism Strategy

Over the past decade, we had seen some awareness of the importance of gender in UK security policies. As early as 2005, the Home Secretary said women were, “the missing link in counter-terrorism,” and in 2008, Government funded a number of Pathfinder projects that explicitly saw and targeted the development of women’s empowerment as a way of countering radicalisation. By 2016, […]

Practical advice for schools and colleges to address the “Punish A Muslim” letter

April 3rd has been nominated by a tiny hate-filled band of people as ‘Punish a Muslim’ day.  An unknown far right hate group is sending out letters suggesting a scale of points awarded for various acts of hate and destruction against British Muslims.  This has inevitably triggered counter action and demonstrations by those protesting against […]

Comment: Crime and punishment: what to do with returning foreign fighters?

Is the issue of joining terror groups and the repercussions of facing justice clear cut?  Should individuals taking up arms with ideological aims – and who may have broken the law – face trials in the country they’ve been captured in, face justice at home, or should we deport them to Guantanamo Bay as Trump […]

Challenging extremist views or beliefs that leads to violent sexual crimes

A survivor of the Rotherham child sex abuse case speaks. Sexual and gender-based violence is used as a tactic of terrorism, by a range of today’s violent extremist groups. Religious ideals of purity, virginity, modesty and obedience are taken to the extreme, mixed with power, politics and ideology, until sexual violence and horrific exploitation become […]

What works in educating against extremism? My report for the University of Gothenburg.

The 8 key principles. When it comes to educating against extremism, two fundamental questions inevitably arise – what works, and how can we measure it? Eight key principles of effective PVE (Preventing Violent Extremism) emerge from an extensive global review I have just completed,  commissioned by the Segerstedt Institute of the University of Gothenburg. They were interested in what […]

Kill all jihadis or re-integrate them? Max Hill QC explains the legal options

On October 30th, ConnectFutures and University of Birmingham hosted the event ‘An Audience with Max Hill’. (Report here)  Max Hill is the Independent Reviewer of Terrorism Legislation, with a remit to scrutinise and comment on the workings of four major pieces of counter terror legislation – and to inform the public and political debate on […]

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