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  • Author: Sebastien Feve, David Dews
  • Publication Date: 09-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Fourth Freedom Forum
  • Abstract: This report contains a comparative evaluation of national strategies to prevent and counter violent extremism, to explore how they reflect recommendations and good practices outlined by the United Nations. Drawing upon a sample of 19 national strategies, the report analyzes the procedures and standards of policy planning that underpin the development of countries’ strategies. Using the guidelines of the UN Office of Counter-Terrorism’s “Reference Guide: Developing National and Regional Action Plans to Prevent Violent Extremism” as a common analytical framework, the report is organized around the six procedural components outlined therein as essential in developing inclusive, context-specific, and robust national strategies. Analyzing national strategies against this framework, the report explores whether the procedures and considerations that led to the development of countries’ national strategies meet this standard. Based on this comparative analysis, the report provides a number of recommendations related to each of the six procedural components analyzed. It is hoped that these recommendations will help guide countries as they develop new or optimize existing strategies in line with international norms and common standards of promising practice and in turn design more effective national strategies to prevent and counter violent extremism.
  • Topic: National Security, Terrorism, International Security, Violent Extremism, Counter-terrorism, Conflict
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, United Kingdom, Canada, Finland, Norway, France, Germany, Belgium, Denmark, United Nations, Lebanon, Albania, Switzerland, Sweden, Nigeria, Somalia, Montenegro, Austria, Maldives, United States of America
  • Author: Franziska Praxl-Tabuchi
  • Publication Date: 04-2019
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Fourth Freedom Forum
  • Abstract: History offers plenty of examples of female involvement in political violence, but a certain fascination and disbelief continue to surround female violent extremists because women are often still viewed as homemakers and mothers, surprising society by the number of young girls and women joining the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant. This policy brief explores the drivers of radicalization to and engagement in violent extremism and the factors of disengagement and desistance among women and girls by examining cases of individuals that went through the United Kingdom’s Channel program. Channel cases were chosen for this analysis because it is one of the longest running (since 2007) and most documented early intervention programs developed specifically to prevent engagement with terrorism and violent extremism. It aims to enhance understanding of gender-sensitive interventions that address the specific needs of women and girls. Recommendations include the focus on mechanisms for women and men to claim their rights and have their grievances heard while ensuring accountability mechanisms are in place and the need to more effectively combine online and offline preventing and countering violent extremism actions.
  • Topic: Gender Issues, Terrorism, Violent Extremism, Counter-terrorism, Women, Radicalization, Internet, Islamic State
  • Political Geography: United Kingdom, Europe, Middle East
  • Author: Matthew Schwartz, Naz Yalbir
  • Publication Date: 03-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Fourth Freedom Forum
  • Abstract: Over the past decade, security actors in Kenya and the international community have increasingly viewed young people in Kenya's Muslim communities as vectors for radicalization to violent extremism. A number of large scale economic development assistance programs in the country, even as they promote the intense free market entrepreneurialism that continues to leave the vast majority of Kenyans behind, are also increasingly taking on preventing violent extremism objectives. Against the backdrop of heightened international and domestic concerns over the vulnerability of Kenyan youth to violent extremism, this policy brief focuses on the hardships and priorities of youth in Kenya through the voices of young people themselves. Drawing on a series of focus group discussions conducted by the Kenya Community Support Centre in September 2018, the paper explores the daily challenges confronting young people in Mombasa County as they struggle to make ends meet in the face of joblessness, wage theft, nepotism, and political corruption. While the serious threat posed by al-Shabaab cannot be ignored, the paper argues that the overriding drive to prevent violent extremism among Kenyan youth, especially in Muslim and Somali communities, is not only disproportionate but also counterproductive, threatening to overshadow the overwhelming need for economic justice, governance accountability, and reform.
  • Topic: Human Rights, Violent Extremism, Counter-terrorism, Youth, Rule of Law
  • Political Geography: Kenya, Africa, Somalia
  • Author: Christina Nemr, Sara Savage
  • Publication Date: 02-2019
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Fourth Freedom Forum
  • Abstract: Structural factors that can fuel support for violent extremism, like corrupt governance and inequality, are often intertwined with individual-level vulnerability factors, such as a search for identity or a need for quick answers to issues of injustice. Under these circumstances, individuals can be drawn to black-and-white answers that seem to offer simplicity, clarity, and certainty. Unfortunately, a hallmark of violent extremist ideologies is this binary thinking, stripped of complexity and with an identifiable in-group/out-group dynamic that offers a sense of community and belonging to help people make sense of the world. As policymakers and practitioners work to address the larger structural factors fueling violent extremism, psychological interventions may help address the binary construct of thinking that can make violent extremist ideologies sound appealing at the individual level. This policy brief explore the concept of integrative complexity - an empirical, peer-reviewed, and cross-culturally validated measure of the complexity of thinking - and the ways it can be applied in contexts of violent extremism and other instances of intergroup conflict.
  • Topic: Violent Extremism, Counter-terrorism, Inequality, Psychology, Social Justice, Trauma
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, Kenya, Africa, Europe, Middle East, Asia, Sweden, Scotland, Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Author: Tracey Durner, Danielle Cotter
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Fourth Freedom Forum
  • Abstract: Within the realm of policy discussions, anti–money laundering (AML) and countering the financing of terrorism (CFT) efforts are generally treated as a package deal. From a policymaking standpoint, the combination makes sense. There is a convergence between the types of information and stakeholders relevant to money laundering and terrorism financing, and after the September 11, 2001 attacks it was expedient to add CFT to existing AML frameworks. Yet in practice, critics have argued this “marriage” places undue burden on the private sector and resulted in ineffective and even harmful outcomes. This brief examines where and how AML frameworks are fit for purpose relative to CFT and considers where additional CFT-specific efforts are necessary. It begins with a brief summary of the evolution of money laundering and terrorism financing policies, discussing the unification of the two fields and the key differences between the motivations and typologies of money laundering and terrorism financing crimes. Against that backdrop, it explores the four objectives of CFT efforts (prevent, detect, freeze, and trace) to identify areas where existing unified AML/CFT frameworks are working and areas where more nuance is required to effectively combat threats specific to terrorism financing. Although particular attention is given to the United States and United Kingdom as international financial centers, similar approaches and convergences between AML and CFT policies and practices occur worldwide. The brief concludes with recommendations on how current CFT policy discourse and evolution can meaningfully support broader counterterrorism objectives.
  • Topic: Terrorism, Counter-terrorism, Finance, Financial Crimes
  • Political Geography: United Kingdom, United States of America
  • Author: Christopher Dean, Eelco Kessels
  • Publication Date: 12-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Fourth Freedom Forum
  • Abstract: The Compendium of Good Practices in the Rehabilitation and Reintegration of Violent Extremist Offenders presents good and promising practices in the rehabilitation and reintegration of violent extremist offenders (VEOs) in correctional settings, while also discussing how practices related to prison regime, security, intelligence, and risk assessment can impact these two processes. The compilation endeavors to (1) inform understanding and improve decision-making regarding the implementation of approaches for the rehabilitation and reintegration of VEOs, specifically in the correctional services of Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States, although it has value in other jurisdictions; (2) integrate established with emerging promising practices in this field; (3) translate key existing documents into an applied and accessible resource for use by various stakeholders; and (4) include good and promising practices associated with women, juveniles, and foreign fighters convicted of terrorism offenses, and prison and probation services where issues associated with violent extremism may be less frequent. Good and promising practices for this compendium have been compiled from handbooks, reports, and papers that have previously addressed the issue of effectively rehabilitating and reintegrating VEOs in correctional settings, as well as from practical, on-the-ground experience. The compendium is housed on a separate website that contains an overview of the key promising practices for the different sections of the compendium. The compendium is accompanied by a Good Practices Guide, which lists a range of key questions for prison services to explore as they develop, evaluate, and update their approaches to managing VEOs and identifying and addressing radicalization and recruitment to violent extremism.
  • Topic: Intelligence, Prisons/Penal Systems, Violent Extremism, Counter-terrorism, Rule of Law, Criminal Justice
  • Political Geography: United Kingdom, Europe, Canada, Australia, North America, New Zealand, AustralAsia, United States of America
  • Author: Rafia Bhulai, Christina Nemr
  • Publication Date: 09-2018
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Fourth Freedom Forum
  • Abstract: As policymakers and practitioners in Southeast Asia increasingly recognize the importance of investing in preventing and countering violent extremism (P/CVE) measures, it is critical to integrate a gender analysis when developing related national action plans, strategies, and programs. This policy brief examines examines key challenges, gaps, and needs of national and regional stakeholders and concludes with recommendations for these actors to consider in advancing gender sensitive P/CVE policy and practice in the region. The brief draws on desk research and extensive consultations with a range of civil society actors, experts, policymakers, and practitioners from the region, including a regional workshop and gender-sensitive P/CVE projects undertaken by local civil society organizations, supported by the Global Center and the government of the Netherlands.
  • Topic: Conflict Prevention, Civil Society, Gender Issues, Violent Extremism, Counter-terrorism, Women
  • Political Geography: Indonesia, Malaysia, Asia, Philippines, Thailand, Southeast Asia, Myanmar
  • Author: Matthew Schwartz
  • Publication Date: 09-2018
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Fourth Freedom Forum
  • Abstract: This policy brief explores the oft-under examined question of state-perpetrated violence and its treatment within the global preventing and countering violence extremism (PCVE) agenda. While there has been a gradual recognition that human rights, good governance and human security are critical factors in violence prevention, PCVE policy and programming continues to focus on addressing only violence associated with specific radical ideas and is overwhelming centered on individuals and communities of particular identity groups. This agenda often obscures and disregards substantial levels of violence perpetrated by states and other actors. Against the backdrop of growing body of work highlighting the biases, inconsistencies and assumptions of mainstream radicalization theory over the past decade, a paradigm shift is long overdue. To that end, this policy brief highlights the intersections of political violence, violent extremism, and human insecurity through a series of thematic vignettes on corruption, human rights abuses, and war-making. illustrating ways in which state conduct plays a central role in manifesting or escalating political violence from which violent extremism and terrorism emerge. Recognizing the scale and magnitude of state-perpetrated violence and its role in manifesting further violence is essential for charting a new course toward a more holistic response to violent extremism that adequately accounts for and responds to a wider spectrum of political violence, including the violence perpetrated by states.
  • Topic: Corruption, Human Rights, Violent Extremism, Counter-terrorism, Rule of Law, Criminal Justice, State Violence, Impunity
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, Afghanistan, Africa, Iraq, Middle East, Asia, Libya, Yemen, United Nations, Syria, Global Focus, United States of America
  • Author: Tracey Durner, Danielle Cotter
  • Publication Date: 09-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Fourth Freedom Forum
  • Abstract: This report provides good practices for the design and implementation of effective capacity development programs on anti-money laundering and countering the financing of terrorism (AML/CFT). It first reflects on the current AML/CFT landscape, including recent changes to AML/CFT evaluation methodologies, diverging responses to money laundering and terrorist financing, unintended consequences of AML/CFT measures, and the integration of financial inclusion objectives into AML/CFT efforts. Against this background, the report outlines good practices for the development of regional and national AML/CFT capacity development programs. It explores each stage of the program cycle: inception and design, implementation, and monitoring and evaluation. The report concludes with reflections on how technical assistance providers can help reconcile international standards, existing policies, and practical implementation contexts.
  • Topic: Terrorism, Counter-terrorism, Finance, Islamic State, Financial Crimes
  • Political Geography: Middle East, United Nations, United States of America
  • Author: Christina Nemr, Lara Nonninger, Eva Entenmann, Fulco van Deventer, Bibi van Ginkel
  • Publication Date: 08-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Fourth Freedom Forum
  • Abstract: As governments consider effective responses to violent extremism, they must also decide how best to deal with those who have committed acts of violent extremism, particularly with regard to their rehabilitation and reintegration. Though it is their mandate, governments cannot undertake the rehabilitation and reintegration challenge alone. Civil society organizations can be well-placed to assist with or lead on various components and should be involved in planning and implementation. This action agenda builds on a 30 month project funded by the U.S. Department of State to explore the role of civil society organizations in rehabilitation and reintegration in three broad regions: the Sahel, the Greater Horn of Africa, and Southeast Asia. The action agenda offers guiding principles, recommendations, and examples to help stakeholders shape rehabilitation and reintegration practices and better incorporate the experiences and knowledge of civil society organizations.
  • Topic: Conflict Prevention, Civil Society, Counter-terrorism, Transitional Justice, Criminal Justice, Trauma
  • Political Geography: West Africa, Southeast Asia, Sahel, The Hague