CEG produces in-depth research on issues pertaining to extremism and terrorism.
The UK’s counter-radicalisation Prevent strategy has become one of the most well established soft-power counter-terrorism programmes in the Western world. It offers a far more subtle approach than alternatives such as sting operations or intrusive levels of surveillance by security services. Despite this, from its beginnings, Prevent has faced criticism from campaigners, academics, and community groups. There can be little argument that there are areas where Prevent needs reform and improvement. Yet it is questionable whether adopting the claims made by many of the programme’s critics would assist making Prevent any more effective.
On March 23rd, 2019, the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) lost its last piece of territorial Caliphate: Baghuz, a town in eastern Syria. This was a significant moment in the war against Islamist extremism. However, it did not signify either an enduring defeat for ISIS nor the ideology of Islamism. In Europe, for example, there have been – on average – two Islamist terror plots or attacks per month since ISIS relinquished its Caliphate.
Fifteen years on from the July 7, 2005 terrorist attacks and huge progress has been made in tackling terrorism. Unfortunately, progress has been trickier to achieve in the so-called battle of ideas and there is still insufficient work being done to push back against extremist ideologies and those who promote them. The relationship between Prevent and counter extremism work has become confused and ambiguity about who the Government will and will not work with has led to inconsistent decisions being made.