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Security and Extremism Blogs
Last week, Chuka Umunna spoke to Chatham House in a much-needed intervention on the state of British foreign policy.
In recent years, the British foreign policy debate has not kept up with the pace of global political and economic change. For that reason alone, there was much to commend in Umunna’s sense of urgency. To adapt to the challenges of the twenty-first century, as he put it, “we need to look ahead and develop a proper national strategy on the basis of a clear understanding of what our interests are”.
Alistair Burt, the Foreign Office Minister, has been engaging with political Islamists during his recent tour of the Middle East. Sir John Jenkins — former British Ambassador to Saudi Arabia and co-author of the Government’s Muslim Brotherhood Review of 2015 — looks at the lamentable historical record of such attempts at outreach, what to expect from them and how they could be improved.
Hannah Stuart — Co-head of Policy Exchange’s Security and Extremism unit — analyses the High Court’s rejection of a legal challenge against the government’s counter-radicalisation strategy, Prevent, and its delivery IN higher education institutions. She explains why the ruling ‘highlights issues that are central not only to tackling terrorism in the UK, but also to challenging the extremist ideologies used to legitimise terrorism’.
Trojan Horse: ‘If anyone is still in any doubt that the practices uncovered were inappropriate, just listen to the pupils’
Hannah Stuart (Co-Head of Policy Exchange’s Security and Extremism Unit) and John Blake (Head of Education and Social Reform) look at the latest developments on the Trojan Horse affair.
In the first of a series of longer articles for Policy Exchange following the Manchester and London attacks, Sir John Jenkins — former British Ambassador to Saudi Arabia and co-author of the UK Government’s review of the Muslim Brotherhood published in 2015 — examines why many Western Governments find it so hard to deal with transnational ideological challenges. After the end of the Cold War, Western officialdom may not have believed in the “end of history”, but many of them did believe in the “end of ideology”. Events are once again proving them tragically wrong.
Policy Exchange Director Dean Godson looks at the government’s renewed emphasis on Islamist extremism in the wake of the Borough attacks – and notes Theresa May’s focus on ideology as the “upstream” source of much of the problem. The Government’s task now is to ensure that its policy on counter-extremism is implemented throughout the public sector – which, as all Prime Ministers have found since 7/7, is easier said than done
Policy Exchange’s Co-Head of Security and Extremism, Hannah Stuart, looks at what more can be done to counter extremism online following Theresa May’s pledge to prevent the internet being used as a safe space for extremism. She proposes a new regulator to work with Ofcom to ensure that technology companies take responsibility for extremist material published on their platforms and provide more support and funding for the police’s online security teams
Last week’s attack in Manchester confirms that jihadist terrorism poses the greatest threat to British national security. Much of what has emerged so far about the bomber, Salman Abedi, fits a typical profile: a man in his 20s, raised in an immigrant family in the UK...
Manchester attack brings renewed prominence to debate around Britain’s counter-radicalisation strategy, Prevent
Last week’s terrorist attack in Manchester has brought renewed prominence to the debate around Britain’s counter-radicalisation strategy, Prevent. A concerted campaign to discredit Prevent has seeped into both elements of the public sector and prevailing thinking on the political left. The success of the ‘Preventing Prevent’ campaign, however, depends on a misunderstanding of the distinction between theology and ideology as well as the radicalising impact of an Islamist ideology, one to which many of the strategy’s most prominent detractors adhere. Understanding the anti-Prevent campaign is one way in which the authorities can more effectively disrupt extremists – a fundamental component of counter-terrorism work.
Writing for Policy Exchange, Richard Walton — former Head of the Metropolitan Police Counter-Terrorism Command — dissects recent statements that Brexit has left Britain more vulnerable to terrorism. Contrary to claims by his former colleague Sir Hugh Orde and the former Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, Walton observes that international bodies such as Interpol and Europol are far less important to “upstream” international CT investigations than bilateral collaboration between nations. Walton’s analysis for Policy exchange featured on the Today programme and in The Sun.