The Institute for Strategic Dialogue helps turn research into action in the fight against extremism
Representing the second instalment of our Women and Extremism (WaE) programme, this report explores the phenomenon of Western females travelling to Syria and Iraq in support of ISIS. It first elaborates upon the motivations for these women and girls to migrate, explores some of the diverse range of profiles that have been monitored, and clarifies the role that they are likely to encompass once arriving in ISIS-held territory.
Launching our Women and Extremism (WAE) programme, this report focuses on those women that have travelled from the West to ISIS held territory in support of the terrorist organisation.
The first in a series of reports, this research draws on our database of known female migrants to ISIS and analyses their reasons for joining the group, the threat they pose and how to stem the flow of women joining ISIS.
The travel of European and North American nationals to participate in conflict or terrorism-related activities in places such as Syria presents a number of potential threats to national security, both while these ‘fighters’ are overseas and also upon their return to their respective countries.This paper argues that Western governments need to supplement current hard measures with a more holistic approach in their efforts to effectively counter the foreign fighter phenomenon.
ISD CEO Sasha Havlicek and Senior Felllow Farah Pandith co-author an op ed published in Le Monde (France), The Telegraph (UK) and Focus (Germany), to discuss the issue of women becoming involved in extremism activities.
"If we don't act now, it may not be long before we see women committing acts of terror in Western cities"
In December, ISD launched Europe’s Got Talent, an action-orientated report which identifies the key gear changes we need across education, the workplace and business to respond to Europe’s future economic environment, drive growth and create employment opportunities for young people in our digitised world. The report was part of the Vodafone Digitising Europe Summit, opened by German Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel.
ISD has launched a new report on the evidence behind Exit programmes, which deradicalise and disengage individuals from far-right extremist movements, and the viability of Exit work in the UK. The UK’s approach to far-right violence has centred around anti-racism and preventative work, intervention with those on their way into groups, incarceration, and victims support. But the UK is missing a critical step in between: intervention with those already in far-right movements, to stop violence from occurring in the first place.
Violent far-right extremism continues to pose a threat to community safety and national security. Its impact is felt on a daily basis by individuals and communities across Europe. ISD is launching The FREE Initiative (Far-Right Extremism in Europe Initiative), a major new online resource aiming to inspire and promote cross-border learning among those working against violent far-right extremism. Explore our new site to find films, practical guides, case studies and advice on how to take action.
Sasha Havlicek, ISD's CEO and Executive Director, discusses the communications strategies employed by extremist organisations, drawing particular attention to their sophisticated use of social media outlets, the need to develop compelling and credible counter - narratives and the requirement for governments to invest into the development of effective counter - narrative strategies.
The interview is available here.
ISD has launched a new report on the key challenges and lessons learned across 10 EU member states (Sweden, UK, the Netherlands, Norway, Finland, Denmark, Germany, Poland, Hungary, Slovak Republic). This report is based on one year of field research in all 10 countries. It involved interviews with over 100 inspirational individuals, from those writing National Action Plans to frontline professionals carrying out one-to-one interventions. The report offers 10 recommendations for European policy makers.