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radicalisation

I have written a paper setting out how the Internet is used by terrorists – from radicalisation and recruitment, to communication, planning attacks and spreading violent narratives. It also begins to explores some of the ways that governments and civil society do – and could – use the Internet as a weapon against terrorists. But more work is needed on this issue of growing importance, as highlighted last week by the Home Affairs Select Committee report on the roots of radicalisation.

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The UK Parliament Home Affairs Select Committee has published the results of its enquiry into the roots of radicalisation. They conclude that:

  • Radicalisation is declining within Muslim communities in the UK, but there has been a growth in right-wing violent extremism;
  • The UK government should collate and make available – where possible – data from the Channel programme of interventions with individuals deemed to be at risk from radicalisation;
  • Grievance is a driver for radicalisation, which means that tackling Islamophobia needs to be part of the Prevent strategy;
  • There needs to be a stronger emphasis within the Prevent strategy on building trust in democratic institutions and the democratic process;
  • The Internet seems to play a more important role in the radicalisation process than universities, religious institutions or universities;
  • Further research is needed into the link between recruitment into radical groups and criminal gangs;
  • More emphasis is needed on the threat from far right violent extremism;
  • Clearer guidance is needed for universities about their role and there needs to be a clear contact point within government for student unions and university administrators;
  • Gaps in support need to be plugged for prisoners being released back into the community, and there needs to be a more regular flow of information between prison and probation systems.

The report can be downloaded here.

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