Islamic State: How foreigners are helped to reach Syria and Iraq

Originally Published by BBC News 24 February 2015. Original linked here.

Three girls from London travelled to Turkey, sparking international concerns they were en route to Syria to join Islamic State (IS). But what makes people want to travel to conflicts in foreign lands and how are they helped to get there? Continue reading

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With the right support, community-led efforts to tackle extremism can succeed

Originally Published by Left Foot Forward 24 November 2014. Original linked here.

Many communities have already become active in addressing Ofsted’s concerns about far right and Islamist extremism. Last week, the media divulged a string of new Ofsted statements. They flagged up a number of secondary schools and sixth form colleges that are said to be vulnerable to radicalisation, or that have been reported as not adequately preparing children for ‘life in modern Britain’.

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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

Why are British women leaving the UK to join Isis in Iraq and Syria?

Originally Published by The Independent: 10 September 2014. Original linked here.

After reports of British women travelling to Syria to join Islamic State (IS), stories of female foreign fighters have been spreading like wildfire.In July of this year the story of the 16-year-old twins from Manchester, Salma and Zahra Halane, hit the headlines, detailing the girls’ journey into Turkey and across the Syrian border to join their brother, a suspected foreign fighter with IS.

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Addressing the Roots of Radicalisation

Originally Published by Progress Online: 8 September 2014. Original linked here.

As western powers discuss to what extent their military capacity should be used against Islamic State they are also having to face the reality of radicalisation processes taking place in their own countries. Continue reading

What is ISIS hoping its abhorrent beheading video will achieve?

Originally Published by CNN: 21 August 2014. Original linked here.

(CNN) — The recent video depicting the final words and beheading of U.S. journalist James Wright Foley by someone that seems to be a British foreign fighter has sent shockwaves across the West. The video has already been blocked multiple times from various video-sharing platforms, only to reappear as many times, something that once again emphasizes that the new frontline for counter-terrorist practitioners is online extremism.

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Censorship is not the way forward in countering online extremism

First published in in libdemvoice.org on 16 February 2014. Link to original article here.

Earlier this month, the Government reiterated its intent to censor online extremist content through ISP filtering systems. This has largely been in reaction to fears over radical jihadi videos coming from Syria and has been heightened due to recent estimates of 2,000 European fighters travelling to Syria. There is particular concern over the influence foreign fighters may have on the young and impressionable upon their return to their countries of origin. Though well-intentioned, government-controlled filtering is problematic for a number of reasons.

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