What next for the missing Bethnal Green girls in Syria?

Originally Published by The Telegraph 03 July 2015. Original linked here.

Britain has seen hundreds of male foreign terrorist fighters return home, but what happens when Isil jihadi brides want to come back? While the number of Western male foreign terrorist fighters remains staggering, there is an equally unprecedented number of Western females migrating to Syria and Iraq to join Isil state-building efforts.

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‘Till Martyrdom Do Us Part’ – Gender and the ISIS Phenomenon

By Erin Marie Saltman and Melanie Smith

The following is the introduction to the latest Women and Extremism report from ISD. A link to the full report can be found here. Launched 28 May 2015

Although often assumed to be passive agents, women have played significant roles in a number of contemporary terrorist organizations. Violent extremist groups across the political and ideological spectrum have utilised female forces for a range of activities including logistics, recruitment, political safeguarding, operations, suicide bombing and combat. However, the recent unprecedented surge in female recruits to the terrorist organization Islamic State (ISIS) has brought this phenomenon into sharp focus. For many there remain misperceptions and misunderstandings concerning the role women play within these violent networks, often paired with engendered responses to the radicalisation of women. By analysing how terrorist organisations choose to utilise women, we are able to better understand the decision-making processes of terrorists and the inner-workings of the organization itself. Continue reading

The Institute for Strategic Dialogue on embracing the ‘softer side’ of counter-terrorism

By Erin Marie Saltman and Jake Barker

Originally Published by New World UNA-UK 24 February 2015. Original linked here.

The need for cohesive and effective counter-terrorism policy among UN member states is as crucial as ever. Transnational terrorist organisations, like Islamic State (IS), are territorially expanding in the Middle East, while the foreign fighter phenomenon is affecting a number of countries. With the continuation of this crisis, international gaps within counter-terrorism strategies have shown themselves. There is scope for improvement in UN strategies in terms of increasing its soft power capabilities through enhancing the infrastructure around counter-extremism. Continue reading

Islamic State: The Changing Face of Modern Jihadism

Report by Dr Erin Marie Saltman and Charlie Winter

This report was launched by Quilliam (November 2014). The link to the full report can be found here. The following is the Executive Summary to the report: Continue reading

The ‘extremism asbo’: Time for clarity

Originally Published by Progress: 30 September 2014. Original linked here.

In today’s speech by home secretary Theresa May at the Conservative party conference, audiences were left with the overall sense that extremism, in its broadest sense, would be directly confronted by the Conservative government’s manifesto. Continue reading

Surveillance bill: Fear should never be used to push through new laws

Originally Published by Left Foot Forward: 11 July 2014. Original linked here.

Britain’s widespread surveillance is already broader than the majority of other European countries.

On Wednesday, David Cameron announced that there is an urgent need for the introduction of new surveillance legislation before the end of the parliamentary term, justified as a means of ensuring that UK law enforcement can maintain its ability to access the telecommunications data most important for security forces.

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