When do individuals radicalize? The causes of radicalization are numerous and the mechanisms are so complex that they need to be broken to be understood. Besides, an effective EU response cannot be developed without a full understanding of the drivers of radicalization and of how individuals may react to countermeasures.
Terrorism in Europe now finds its inspiration in a large variety of ideologies: ethno-nationalist, anarchist, violent left- or right-wing, or Al Qaida -or Daesh- inspired ideologies. European audiences have become particularly concerned about recent converts, foreign fighters and returnees in recent years.
The event at CIDOB will identify the events and conditions that may cause violent extremism. Radical individuals of all ideologies now pose a serious threat to the security of EU Member States but do we know what the mechanisms that cause radicalization are?
Two well-known experts will argue that a better understanding of the causes and processes that lead to violent radicalization is essential to develop innovative solutions to counter violent actions taken by radicalized male or female individuals. Also, counter-terrorist initiatives at EU level are increasingly aware of the fact that preventing violent radicalisation is also about winning the heart and minds and countering extremist propaganda while preserving the fundamental rights of citizens.
Bibi van Ginkel is a Research Fellow at the International Centre for Counter-Terrorism (ICCT) and a coordinator of the Security Cluster of the Clingendael Institute in The Hague. Prior to joining Clingendael she lectured International law at Utrecht University. She is General Secretary of the Netherlands Helsinki Committee and a member of the Peace and Security Committee of the Advisory Council of International Affairs. Her work focuses on legal aspects of combating terrorism in both a national and an international context. Recent publications have focused on foreign fighters, cyber-jihad, the nexus between security and development and the role of civil society in countering violent extremism.
Magnus Ranstorp is a Swedish scholar who has written about Hizballah, Hamas, al-Qaeda and other militant Islamic movements. He is the Research Director of the Centre for Asymmetric Threat Studies at the Swedish National Defence College. He was previously the Director of Centre for the Study of Terrorism and Political Violence (CSTPV) at the University of St Andrews, Scotland. In 2003 he was invited to testify before the first hearing of the 9/11 Commission. In 2006 Ranstorp was invited to join the European Commission Expert Group on Violent Radicalisation, an official advisory body on all matters relating to violent radicalisation and recruitment of extremists within the EU.
The session will be moderated by Diego Muro, Associate Researcher at CIDOB.