COMMENTARY

Islamism: What’s in a name?

The Times today reports that Counter Terrorism Policing have been asked by advocacy group the National Association of Muslim Police (NAMP) to use alternative terminology when describing Islamist terrorism, in order that it does not “have a direct link to Islam and jihad”. Some context: this type of extremism continues to be the largest terrorist threat to the UK. Currently, Counter Terrorism Policing is working on 800 live investigations and attempting to monitor up to 43,000 current and historic ‘subjects of interest’ - the vast majority inspired by Islamism (approximately 80%). Yet this is not the first time that the notion...

Read more

COMMENTARY

Our counter-extremism policies are ripe for reform – and now is the perfect time to do it

It is 15 years to the day since the July 7, 2005 suicide bombings in London. These were the first Islamist terror attacks that the UK had experienced, leaving 52 dead and around 700 injured. Since then we have had a Labour Prime Minister declare that “the rules of the game are changing” and –  after suffering a spate of Islamist terror attacks in 2017 – a Conservative Prime Minister warn that “enough is enough”. Yet neither party was quite able to back up tough words with policies to match. A persistent threat remains. The stabbing in Reading last month that...

Read more

COMMENTARY

Terrorism After the Pandemic

“Europe has now become the epicentre of the pandemic,” Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus declared back in March. The warning from the head of the World Health Organisation (WHO) was stark, but not all countries in the continent reacted with urgency. Some countries were yet to go into lockdown. But an unlikely voice concurred with Ghebreyesus. The Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham’s (ISIS) Al- Naba newsletter warned supporters not to set foot in the “land of the epidemic.” That might seem like good news, but there are already plenty of Islamic State—and those animated by a broader jihadist ideology—already living in the continent. That means that the...

Read more