Security and Extremism

Ayman al-Zawahiri got the death he deserved

At times like this, it’s tempting to channel Bette Davis: only speak good of the dead. Ayman al-Zawahiri’s dead. Good.

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Policy Exchange

Research Note: ‘The Lady of Heaven’

A new research note from the Security and Extremism Team at think-tank Policy Exchange has unearthed evidence of another government ‘anti-extremism’ advisor voicing support for the recent protests over the film Lady of Heaven, which have seen the film pulled from cinemas across the United Kingdom. The government earlier this month sacked Imam Qari Asim, its Islamophobia advisor, over his role in the protests against ‘The Lady of Heaven’.

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The Queen’s Speech and Public Protest: The Government is not clamping down on the right to protest but rather on the deliberate disruption of the public square by small groups of privileged activists

The UK has a small but determined environmentalist movement characterised by its appetite for popular protest – and the diversity of its tactics. In the last twelve months these have ranged from the Tyre Extinguishers group letting down the tyres of private motor vehicles, Insulate Britain attempting to close the M25, Extinction Rebellion blockading Oxford Circus with a giant pink table, to Just Stop Oil protestors tying themselves to the goalposts during Premier League football matches.

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Policy Exchange

Delegitimising Counter-Terrorism

The Prevent counter-terrorism strategy is perhaps the most controversial government policy most people have never heard of. Public recognition of it is generally low, but opposition from Britain’s raucous Islamist scene, near total. From there, opposition has spread to sections of the far-left, and those parts of academia where Islamism and the revolutionary left intersect. This report, written by three experts on Islamism, outlines the campaign against Prevent, and argues that this is not an exceptional campaign against a uniquely flawed policy – the groups opposing Prevent have tended to criticise pretty much any counter-terrorism policy, in sine cases for a generation. The same names and campaign groups appear time after time regardless of the colour of the government of the day.

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Fourteen questions for ministers and police emerging from the killing of Sir David Amess MP

Much of the attention following the killing of Sir David Amess MP has been focused on the rising volume of threats to MPs and the issue of online anonymity. These are very important, but a much broader set of questions around ideology is in danger of slipping from view. William Shawcross’ Independent Review of the counter-radicalisation Prevent strategy affords a major opportunity to address this imbalance and reset discussion in a neglected area of policy. Shawcross is due to report shortly to the Home Secretary.
Here are fourteen questions which emerge from the horrific events in Southend:

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“Radicalised” convert kills five in Norway

On the evening of Wednesday October 13, 2021, in the city of Kongsberg, some 50 miles from Oslo, five people were killed and two more were injured in a suspected terrorist attack by a lone perpetrator. The attacker, named Espen Andersen Bråthen, was armed with a bow and arrows. He was later apprehended and charged.

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Latest Security and Extremism Publications

Research Note: ‘The Lady of Heaven’

Research Note: ‘The Lady of Heaven’

A new research note from the Security and Extremism Team at think-tank Policy Exchange has unearthed evidence of another government ‘anti-extremism’ advisor voicing support for the recent protests over the film Lady of Heaven, which have seen the film pulled from cinemas across the United Kingdom. The government earlier this month sacked Imam Qari Asim, its Islamophobia advisor, over his role in the protests against ‘The Lady of Heaven’.

Delegitimising Counter-Terrorism

Delegitimising Counter-Terrorism

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The Prevent counter-terrorism strategy is perhaps the most controversial government policy most people have never heard of. Public recognition of it is generally low, but opposition from Britain’s raucous Islamist scene, near total. From there, opposition has spread to sections of the far-left, and those parts of academia where Islamism and the revolutionary left intersect. This report, written by three experts on Islamism, outlines the campaign against Prevent, and argues that this is not an exceptional campaign against a uniquely flawed policy – the groups opposing Prevent have tended to criticise pretty much any counter-terrorism policy, in sine cases for a generation. The same names and campaign groups appear time after time regardless of the colour of the government of the day.

Fishmongers’ Hall: A Preventable Tragedy

Fishmongers’ Hall: A Preventable Tragedy

Peter Clarke, Senior Fellow at Policy Exchange, who previously served as HM Chief Inspector of Prisons and Head of Counter-Terrorism Command at New Scotland Yard, has warned that the Fishmongers’ Hall terrorist attack was “a preventable tragedy”. In a new paper for Policy Exchange, Fishmongers’ Hall: A Preventable Tragedy, he argues that the relevant police and probation officers lacked the expertise to deal with an Islamist extremist who was ‘one of the most dangerous terrorists to be released from a British prison in recent years’. Clarke urges the Government to move control of prisons from the Ministry of Justice to the Home Office, to improve public safety and security, among other policy proposals.

Latest Security and Extremism Blogs

The Queen’s Speech and Public Protest: The Government is not clamping down on the right to protest but rather on the deliberate disruption of the public square by small groups of privileged activists

The Queen’s Speech and Public Protest: The Government is not clamping down on the right to protest but rather on the deliberate disruption of the public square by small groups of privileged activists

The UK has a small but determined environmentalist movement characterised by its appetite for popular protest – and the diversity of its tactics. In the last twelve months these have ranged from the Tyre Extinguishers group letting down the tyres of private motor vehicles, Insulate Britain attempting to close the M25, Extinction Rebellion blockading Oxford Circus with a giant pink table, to Just Stop Oil protestors tying themselves to the goalposts during Premier League football matches.

Fourteen questions for ministers and police emerging from the killing of Sir David Amess MP

Fourteen questions for ministers and police emerging from the killing of Sir David Amess MP

Much of the attention following the killing of Sir David Amess MP has been focused on the rising volume of threats to MPs and the issue of online anonymity. These are very important, but a much broader set of questions around ideology is in danger of slipping from view. William Shawcross’ Independent Review of the counter-radicalisation Prevent strategy affords a major opportunity to address this imbalance and reset discussion in a neglected area of policy. Shawcross is due to report shortly to the Home Secretary.
Here are fourteen questions which emerge from the horrific events in Southend:

Latest Security and Extremism News

Policy Exchange welcomes Mike Pompeo, US Secretary of State, for discussion on religious freedom and extremism

Policy Exchange welcomes Mike Pompeo, US Secretary of State, for discussion on religious freedom and extremism

Dean Godson, Director of Policy Exchange, was delighted to welcome Mike Pompeo, United States Secretary of State, to Policy Exchange’s London offices for a discussion on religious freedom and extremism of all kinds. The discussion included the role of the state in combatting religious extremism and how the UK and the United States can work closely together to deal with these challenges.

Home Secretary to examine Treason law proposal

Home Secretary to examine Treason law proposal

Policy Exchange’s proposal for a new law of Treason, which would help prosecute returning Isis fighters, was discussed in the House of Commons this week and received front page coverage in The Daily Telegraph.

Peers back Policy Exchange proposal to update treason laws

Peers back Policy Exchange proposal to update treason laws

On the first day back after Parliamentary recess, Policy Exchange’s proposal to update the Law of Treason was raised by two former ministers as the House of Lords debated the Government’s latest Counter Terrorism Bill.

Latest Security and Extremism Events

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  • Thursday, 11 November, 2021
    17:30 - 18:30

  Nimco Ali OBE CEO The Five Foundation Lord Carlile of Berriew QC CBE Former Independent Reviewer of Terrorism Legislation  Professor Steven Greer Author of “Tackling Terrorism in Britain: Threats, responses and challenges twenty years after 9/11” Khalid Mahmood MP Labour MP for Perry Barr and Senior Fellow, Policy Exchange Sir Mark Rowley Former Assistant (more…)

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  • Monday, 11 March, 2019
    18:00 - 19:30

The problem of jihadi brides and ISIL fighters has made discussions about reform of the law of treason a matter of high public importance. Policy Exchange is proud to have led the public conversation about this issue, beginning with publication in July 2018 of a major cross-party report on modernisation of the law.

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  • Wednesday, 12 September, 2018
    18:00 - 19:30

A discussion to mark the launch of “Oceans Ventured: Winning the Cold War at Sea” – the new book by former US Secretary of the Navy John Lehman.

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  • Thursday, 26 July, 2018
    11:30 - 13:00

United Arab Emirates Minister of State for Foreign Affairs His Excellency Dr. Anwar bin Mohammed Gargash spoke at Policy Exchange on “The Role of the Arab Gulf in Building Peace in the Middle East”.

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  • Thursday, 28 June, 2018
    13:00 - 14:30

Secretary of State for International Development Rt Hon Penny Mordaunt MP and Brigadier John Deverell spoke on the strategic role of soft power, outlining how her vision for the future of UK development policy applies in the context of civilian–military cooperation, the interplay between hard and soft power, and the importance of development’s role alongside defence and diplomacy.

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  • Wednesday, 27 June, 2018
    11:00 - 12:30

At a time of growing international instability, the Five Eyes intelligence arrangements (which brings the UK together with the United States, Australia, Canada and New Zealand) is of vital important to the security of Britain and its allies. While questions are being raised over the long-term future of NATO, Five Eyes represents another crucial pillar of our national security – mitigating threats from hostile states, terrorism, and other non state actors. Why does the continuation of the Five Eyes matter and what can be done to support and enhance it for the challenges ahead?

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  • Wednesday, 13 June, 2018
    13:00 - 14:30

Launching his new book, The Muslim Brotherhood and the West: A History of Enmity and Engagement, Policy Exchange’s Co-head of Extremism and Security Dr Martyn Frampton, provided an overview of the charged relationship between one of the world’s largest political Islamist movements and the Western powers. He was joined for a discussion by chairman of the Foreign Affairs Select Committee Tom Tugendhat MP and Sir John Jenkins, former British Ambassador to Saudi Arabia.

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  • Monday, 26 February, 2018
    18:00 - 19:30

The acute threat we face from terrorism will only be tackled when the whole of society understands and responds to the chronic threat from extremism, says Mark Rowley in his keynote valedictory address as Assistant Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police for Specialist Operations and National Lead for Counter Terrorism Policing delivered at Policy Exchange.

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  • Wednesday, 10 January, 2018
    18:00 - 19:30

18:00 – Registration 18:30 – Start 19:30 – End Policy Exchange invites you to: North Korea: Is There A Military Option To Counter The Threat? with Lieutenant General (Ret.) I.-B. Chun, Former Commander, South Korea Special Warfare Command Lieutenant General I.-B. Chun is one of the most decorated officers in South Korea’s military history. He retired in July 2016 (more…)

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Policy Exchange, 1 Old Queen Street, Westminster, London, SW1H 9JA, United Kingdom

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  • Thursday, 28 September, 2017
    18:00 - 19:30

Policy Exchange was delighted to welcome the Hon Peter Dutton MP, Australia’s immigration minister, who reflected on the need for a carefully managed migration system in order to maintain public support for continuing new arrivals. A packed audience heard how the Australian government’s approach has tackled people trafficking while also ensuring Australia has the skilled migrants it needs and maintaining a generous settlement programme for refugees.

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RT @SuellaBraverman Thank you @Policy_Exchange for hosting me today. And thank you to the excellent audience for thought-provoking questions. twitter.com/attorney…