Dr Javier Argomaniz
Dr Diego Muro
Each year, RCDS holds a conference with the near-equivalent Centre des Hautes Edutes Militaires (CHEM) and this year's theme is The Rise of Ideologically Inspired Terrorism. http://www.da.mod.uk/Colleges-Business-Units/RCDS
Internationale efterretningskilder har i de seneste uger advaret om terrorangreb på et julemarked som det, der ramte Berlin mandag aften. Angreb på julen og kristne symboler skal oppiske en stemning af religionskrig og skærpe etniske og religiøse konflikter, mener terroreksperter
Is true religion always extremist?
Thursday 3 March, 6.30 - 8pm
Riddell Hall, Queen's University Belfast, 185 Stranmillis Road
From Russia's 19th century Nihilists to contemporary Sri Lanka and the Middle East women have played central roles in terror organisations. Attacks planned or executed by women certainly attract more attention and seem to inspire a different kind of fear.
Why are we still shocked by women who bomb, kidnap and kill? Why are they so effective? How can women be dissuaded from joining terrorist organisations? BBC Diplomatic Correspondent Bridget Kendall investigates the motives that drive these women and considers the response of the media and the public to those who have planted bombs, hijacked planes and killed innocents in their quest for political change.
Yesterday, David Cameron set out his five year plan for tackling extremism. In a piece for the LSE Politics and Policy blog, Sarah Marsden examines its founding principles, and considers the implications of focusing so heavily on ideology as the root of extremism.
The Counter Terrorism and Security Act that came into force last week made it a statutory requirement for a range of statutory bodies, including schools, to prevent people from becoming involved in extremism. In a piece written for the Political Studies Association website, Sarah Marsden reflects on the challenges this poses for educators, and the need for safe spaces in which young people can negotiate difference.
On 27 June 2015 CSTPV’s Dr Rashmi Singh was quoted in Sputnik International article ‘Lone Wolf Terror Attacks Similar to One in Lyon Pose Challenge for Police’.
The article discusses the 26 June 2015 terrorist attack in Lyon, France.
The full article can be read at http://sputniknews.com/us/20150627/1023909455.html#ixzz3eRApaRNv
Dr Rashmi Singh presented a paper titled, ‘Learning Amongst Modern Jihadist Organisations’, at the conference on ‘How Terrorist Group ‘Learn’: Innovation and Adaptation in Political Violence’, The British Academy 18 & 19 June 2015.
This conference explored how terrorist groups have learned from each other and/or from history by mimicking tactics or actively pursuing inter-organisational co-operation. By bringing together leading scholars in the field of international relations, security studies and history, as well as counter-terrorism practitioners, this conference analysed the notion of ‘learning’ in a non-state capacity and addressed a number of the most substantial case studies that showcase the under-analysed process of learning and tactical transferral between and within terrorist groups.
Details for the conference can be found on: http://www.britac.ac.uk/events/2015/HowTerroristGroups_Learn.cfm
Robert Lambert, directeur de la Muslim Contact Unit de la police de Londres, ici lors d'une conférence sur l'antiterrorisme au Danemark en 2007. © Keld Navntoft/Scanpix / AFP PHOTO
Terrorisme : "Il faut résister à la tentation d'une législation nouvelle" (Terrorism: We Must Resist the Temptation of New Legislation).
The original article can be read at http://www.lepoint.fr/societe/terrorisme-il-faut-resister-a-la-tentation-d-une-legislation-nouvelle-13-01-2015-1896085_23.php
“As the dreadful details of a gun attack on the Paris offices of the satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo continue to emerge, questions are inevitably being asked about what could motivate such ruthless acts of violence. It is much too early to speculate about any of the specifics that led to this attack; indeed at the time of writing the assailants are still at large.
Yet, according to initial reports the attackers appeared to have made references to Islam and to protecting the sanctity of the Prophet Mohammed. The magazine had provoked Islamist anger on several occasions in the past by publishing cartoons depicting the Prophet that many Muslims found offensive. These included the batch of caricatures that initially appeared in the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten in 2005 that provoked widespread fury among Islamists, including the radical Islamist militant fringe.”
The article in full can be read at opendemocracy.net and was first published in The National newspaper on 8 January 2015
(2015) ‘Examining Deterrence and Backlash Effects in Counter-Terrorism: The Case of ETA’ (Terrorism and Political Violence, 27:1, 160–181) (with Vidal-Diez, A.)
Javier Argomaniz latest article has been published by Terrorism and Political Violence. Using statistical modelling techniques, the authors have assessed in this piece the effectiveness of a series of counter-terror initiatives against ETA in the period from 1977 to 2010. The analysis shows that some of the Spanish state's actions in the past have led to a backlash and an upsurge of terrorism violence.
The first 50 readers can download this article for free using this link.
You can find more about Javier Argomaniz previous publications here or here.
The full details are:
Adam Roberts (2014): Terrorism Research: Past, Present, and Future, Studies in Conflict & Terrorism, DOI: 10.1080/1057610X.2014.976011
Donald Holbrook introduces his new book The Al-Qaeda Doctrine. The Book is available to purchase from Bloomsbury at http://www.bloomsbury.com/uk/the-al-qaeda-doctrine-9781623563141/
Until December 2015 those who purchase the book from the above link using the discount code GLR BQ8 will receive a 35% discount.
Rashmi Singh Interview on ‘US Federal Grand Jury To Issue New Indictment Against Libyan Militant, Ahmed Abu Khatallah’, 18 October 2014
“I think there needs to be a continued engagement with the Muslim communities in Britain. There needs to be a very clear stance that Britain is not going to support any kind of involvement with the Islamic State. But it’s less to do with the policy and more to do with the language. If we are going to say that we are adopting the language of treason, then we are basically adopting the idea that somehow these people have to choose between this or that identity. Instead of saying that, say that this is not acceptable as a Briton to go out and fight for Islamic State. Certainly try them for the crimes that they have committed, but do not use language that will inflame the situation further.”
Sarah Marsden - A Social Movement Theory Typology of Militant Organisations: Contextualising Terrorism
Typologies are ubiquitous in terrorism studies, illustrating their continued appeal as a tool to further our understanding of this form of political violence. Despite this, to date, the promise of an empirically derived typology has largely been neglected. In addressing this gap, this article sets out a typology developed from Social Movement Theory. Using a novel statistical technique to derive a three-dimensional framework for categorising militant groups, the typology incorporates both organisational characteristics and the wider political context. The result is a typology defined by three conceptual constructs: political capacity, war-making capacity, and network capacity. Alongside these organisational features, imposing measures of the wider political opportunity structure reveals eight types of militant organisation. To explore the utility of the framework, a preliminary analysis interprets the typology in light of the presence of wider conflict. That a robust relationship is found between the various types and whether groups were operating in peacetime, civil war, or low-intensity conflict, goes some way to demonstrating its utility as an analytical tool. Conclusions draw attention to the importance of contextualising militant groups in their socio-political setting, and the benefits of combining theory alongside empirical analysis to develop robust characterisations of violent organisations.
Full article (subscription required)
Further information about the book can be found on the publisher’s website.
Robert Lambert - Ministers urged to work with Muslim ‘extremist’ groups (The Times 22 September 2014)
“Throughout the UK, but predominantly in parts of Greater London, there are Sunni Muslim organisations, groups and individuals with either good track records of challenging al-Qaeda or Isis-type radicalisation and recruitment or clear potential to do so,” he said.
“In many instances the government considers these groups to be unsuitable partners because, in the government’s view, they are extremist and do not subscribe to British values.”
The full piece can be read here.
In a closely related interview Bob also spoke on Radio 4 in a programme called “The Muslim Brotherhood in Britain”. (http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b0418rcy)
Roddy Brett - 'The Dynamics of Violence and the Role of the Security Sector',University of Mannheim, Frankfurt
The full article can be read here.
The article can be read here.
You can find more about his previous publications here.
Read the article
Presentation Poster [PDF]
Following the announcement of an Indian branch of global terrorist organisation Al-Qaeda, the organisation’s leader, Ayman al-Zawahiri, has appealed on Muslims across the Indian sub-continent to join what he has called "the caravan of jihad". VoR's Tim Ecott spoke to Dr Rashmi Singh, a lecturer in terrorism at the Handa Centre at the University of St. Andrews, in Scotland.
Doug’s analysis can be read here.
Doug also did short interview on ISIS/Aqsa Mahmood for BBC Radio Scotland’s Newsdrive programme. The programme can be listened to on the BBC iPlayer (interview starts 1:16:50).
The programme may be listened to on the BBC iPlayer at http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b04fygk2#programme-broadcasts. The discussion begins at 38.00 and is available for the next 5 days.
Handa CSTPV Director Richard English will deliver a series of Lectures in July 2014 at the Olympia Summer Academy in Politics and International Studies, on the subject of terrorism and counter-terrorism. For more information, please visit http://olympiasummeracademy.org/
Back in 2011, I was sitting in the lunch after my PhD viva. Osama bin Laden had just been killed a few days before, and I quipped that I couldn’t understand how the press was talking about him as if he were somehow a bad person. It wasn’t a remark I’d have made for public consumption. But what surprised me was the way in which two hardened scholars also winced when I said it. I suppose it was a bad taste joke. But I actually meant a lot of what I said. We might find Bin Laden’s personal beliefs unpleasant. And of course, his actions were appalling in their consequences. But it is difficult to argue that he was a personally repugnant individual having accepted that he believed what he believed, and did what he honestly felt he needed to do. Bin Laden was certainly complex. He had his own flaws and demons. But he was also a man of principle, conscience and even sensitivity. In many ways, we can say that he was a good man, even if he was a good man in a bad cause. Read More...
Javier Argomaniz has recently been invited to lecture at the NATO School Defence Against Terrorism Course running from 9 to 13 June. Dr Argomaniz gave a lecture on Social Network Analysis and the disruption of terrorist networks. The talk considered the practical applications of this technique to the study of terrorism after 9/11 and summarised the contributions that this form of research has made to our knowledge on how terrorism works.
In addition, he also presented on the subject of Victims of Terrorism Needs in UK and Spain. In this lecture, Dr Argomaniz discussed some of the findings from a European Commission-funded study in which he and CSTPV colleague Orla Lynch are the principal investigators. The online portal containing extensive information about the project can be found here .
Roddy Brett teaching at the Fletcher Summer Institute for the Advanced Study of Nonviolent Conflict (FSI)
Sarah Marsden to Speak at the International Conference on Interdisciplinary Social Sciences at University of British Columbia, Canada
Title: Successful Resettlement of Politically Motivated Ex-prisoners: Competing Approaches
Abstract: Increasingly, governments are facing the challenge of resettling those convicted of terrorism offences at the end of their prison term. This raises questions about the effectiveness of rehabilitative efforts and the best way of reducing the risk that these individuals will commit a further terrorist offence. Drawing on research with those tasked with this work in the United Kingdom, this paper examines two competing approaches to engaging with ex-offenders: the "strengths based" approach and the "risk" model. The first encourages the individual to conceive of ways to work towards a positive future, whilst the second tries to plug perceived deficits, such as poor educational attainment, and manage risk through control and monitoring. Based on extensive interviews and observation of statutory and third sector actors as they carried out this work, this paper argues that practitioners see promise in a strengths based approach, but given the risk these ex-prisoners are deemed to pose, and the limited knowledge we have of what might promote desistance from further offending, a risk focused model prevails. As well as setting out the research that underpins this conclusion, this paper explores the theoretical and practical implications for academics and practitioners working in the field, including the inadequacy of the term "deradicalisation," and the need to invest further in understanding successful resettlement of politically motivated ex-prisoners.
"Drawing from a wealth of original Arabic-language primary sources, his book makes a novel and highly valuable contribution to the debates surrounding violent radicalization online."
"Jihadi Culture on the World Wide Web is a remarkable piece of scholarship."
To read the full review please visit http://www.e-ir.info/2014/06/01/review-jihadi-culture-on-the-world-wide-web/
These awards are organised by the University of St Andrews Students Association and are a way of recognising and rewarding the excellent teaching and learning that occurs within the University.
Our congratulations to Sarah on a well deserved award.
More details to follow.
Sarah has been shortlisted for the Excellence in Teaching (Postgraduate level) award.
Full details and the list of other nominees can be found here.
Stanford Humanities Center International Visitor Richard English discusses the evolving landscape of terrorism studies
Please see the Stanford Humanities Center website for the text of the interview.
Gillian will collect her award at the Annual AUA Conference Gala Dinner on 15th April in Manchester. (http://www.aua.ac.uk)
BBC Radio 4
The Handa Centre for the Study of Terrorism and Political Violence is delighted to announce that Professor Bruce Hoffman is to take up a Part-Time Professorship of Terrorism Studies at CSTPV, starting in April 2014. Professor Hoffman, of Georgetown University, was co-founder of the Centre in 1994 with Professor Paul Wilkinson. He will be involved in research, teaching and supervision at St Andrews in this new role.
CSTPV Director Professor Richard English said of the appointment: 'We're honoured and delighted to have Bruce Hoffman working at CSTPV again. An extraordinarily distinguished scholar, he has deservedly been one of the defining figures in the study of terrorism and political violence, and his involvement with us will be a huge opportunity for staff and students alike.'
Dr Gilbert Ramsay and Dr Sarah Marsden: Radical distinctions: a comparative study of two jihadist speeches, Critical Studies in Terrorism, Volume 6, Issue 3, 2013.
Dr Sarah Marsden: Media Metrics: How Arab and Western Media Construct Success and Failure in the ‘Global War on Terror’,Perspectives on Terrorism, Volume 7, Issue 6, December 2013.
Dr Sarah Marsden and Dr Rashmi Singh contributed to “Inside Al-Qaeda's Management Shuffle”,OZY Magazine,December 2013.