Events

Thomas Brzozowski

 

In maintaining its commitment to bringing nuanced perspectives from experts in the field of violent and non-violent extremism, the Program on Extremism regularly hosts panel discussions, invited speakers, and other events.

A list of all previous Program on Extremism events is available below. To receive information and registration details for future events, please join our email listserv.

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Upcoming Events

Jihadism in the West

About

The Program on Extremism at George Washington University and the National Counterterrorism Innovation, Technology, and Education Center (NCITE) will host an event to explore current trends surrounding jihadism in the West. The current threat environment is multifaceted, constantly evolving, and challenging for Western governments to manage. Despite the deaths of both the Islamic State and al-Qaeda’s top leaders this year, their global networks of affiliates from Afghanistan to Somalia to West Africa and beyond remain resilient. As practitioners, policymakers, and researchers continue to grapple with the fallout from the Islamic State’s so-called caliphate, these networks continue to wreak havoc on local environments, as well as incite and inspire jihadist supporters in the West. Our panel of experts will seek to address these challenging dynamics.

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Recent Events

Post-Organizational Extremism in the Aftermath of the Buffalo Shooting

On Monday, June 27, 2022, at 10:00 AM, The Program on Extremism at The George Washington University, in conjunction with The Elliott School of International Affairs, hosted a panel discussion on the domestic violent extremism landscape in the aftermath of the Buffalo attack. The recent deadly shooting at the Tops Supermarket in Buffalo highlighted the continuing threat of lone-actor mass violence motivated by domestic violent extremist ideologies. In the weeks following the attack, policymakers and the media have focused on the disparate online ecosystems that support and inspire far-right actors to commit acts of violence. This trend was highlighted in a recent U.S. Department of Homeland Security threat bulletin, which detailed the prevalence of domestic violent extremist and conspiracy-related content in online forums.

The panel, moderated by Program Senior Resarch Fellow Bennett Clifford, included insights from:

  • Cathrine Thorleifssson, Associate Professor, C-REX (Center for Research on Extremism), University of Oslo and Head of the Norwegian Commission on Extremism
  • Chelsea Daymon, PhD candidate, Justice, Law & Criminology in the School of Public Affairs at American University and Graduate Research Fellow at the Polarization and Extremism Research and Innovation Lab (PERIL) at American University
  • Michael Jensen, Senior Researcher, National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism (START), University of Maryland

Threats at Home and Abroad



The Program on Extremism and the Project for Media and National Security at George Washington University hosted a half-day symposium to explore both the rise of domestic violent extremism in America and the continued threat of international terrorism. This collaborative event brought together the Program on Extremism’s established network of subject matter experts and researchers of violent extremism and the Project for Media and National Security’s extensive membership of reporters covering complex national security issues. The symposium included two panels that explored the latest threat trends. Following the conclusion of these panels, Assistant Attorney General for National Security Matthew Olsen provided a keynote address on the Department of Justice's approach to combatting domestic and international terrorism.



A Practitioner Lens of the Repatriation & Reintegration Dilemma: How States Manage Foreign Terrorist Fighters & Their Families

Across the world, countries have handled the question and practice of repatriation and reintegration of former foreign terrorist fighters differently. In recent years, tens of thousands of foreign nationals and their families left extremist organizations and have been held in detention camps in Syria, Iraq, and elsewhere, as governments determine the best approaches to repatriate their citizens. The review of globally and locally-tailored methods, mechanisms, and program evaluation guidelines of repatriation and reintegration is critical to effective global cooperation on the issue of former foreign fighters.

On Thursday, June 2 at 10am EST, The Program on Extremism at The George Washington University and the National Counterterrorism Innovation, Technology, and Education Center (NCITE) hosted an online discussion as part of our grant with the Department of Homeland Security - Science and Technology Directorate on the current landscape of repatriation and reintegration with a focus on foreign terrorist fighter families in a practice-forward approach. The panel, moderated by Program senior research fellow Haroro Ingram, featured insights from:

Julie Coleman, Senior Research Fellow leading the Preventing and Countering Violent Extremism (P/CVE) Programme at the International Centre for Counter-Terrorism – The Hague (ICCT)
Siobhan Simojoki, acting Deputy Chief of United Nations International Organization for Migration (IOM) Mission in Iraq and Head of the Peacebuilding and Stabilization Division
Gina Vale, Senior Research Fellow the International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation (ICSR) and an Associate Fellow at M&C Saatchi World Services



Green Mosul Climate Change International Forum: Challenges and Future Solutions

To celebrate the end of the “Green Mosul'' initiative, launched in April 2022 at the Northern Technical University and sponsored by the Crisis and Support Center of the French Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs, the Program on Extremism is pleased to support the inauguration of the first international forum on climate change in Mosul. The forum, held on May 9, 2022 in Mosul, brought together scholars, public officials, national and international organizations, and climate activists, and offered a unique opportunity to discuss climate change and climate action, future challenges and solutions. More than 9000 trees planted later, Mosul Eye’s “Green Mosul” initiative is coming to an end. But this also marks a new beginning, as the people of Mosul have planted the seeds of a green future for the city. Indeed, launched in March 2021 with the support of the Crisis and Support Center of the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs, “Green Mosul” played an instrumental part in promoting urban greening as a means towards postwar stabilization and in raising awareness about climate change. 


 

Terrorism, Violent Extremism, and the War in Ukraine

On Thursday, April 28, 2022 at 10:00AM EST, the Program on Extremism at George Washington University held a virtual event to discuss the reactions and perceptions of global terrorist and violent extremist movements to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. In the two months since the beginning of the war, several Salafi-jihadist and white supremacist groups around the world have opined on the conflict in statements, media releases, and propaganda. In addition, certain violent extremist actors are participating as active combatants in the conflict. As the war continues, its immediate and second-order effects may also entail significant ramifications for the future of violent extremism in the broader region.

A panel discussed these and other dynamics pertinent to the nexus between the Russia-Ukraine war and regional and global violent extremism. Program senior research fellow Haroro Ingram moderated a discussion involving presentations from:

-Mina al-Lami, Editorial Lead for Jihadist Media Monitoring Team, BBC Monitoring
-Kacper Rekawek, Postdoctoral Fellow, Center for Research on Extremism (C-REX), University of Oslo
-Bennett Clifford, Senior Research Fellow, Program on Extremism at George Washington University


 

The State of Online Terrorist and Extremist Content Removal Policy in the United States

On March 31st, 2022 at 10:00 AM EST, the Program on Extremism at the George Washington University convened a panel to discuss the current state of online terrorist and extremist content removal policy in the United States. In particular, the event examined the respective roles of the U.S. government and technology companies in managing online terrorist and extremist content. 

Recent events have again resurfaced calls for the U.S. government to take a more active role in regulating online service providers’ approaches to harmful content. However, the U.S. government is not the only actor with responsibility for countering extremism and terrorism online, and a broader range of perspectives is necessary to inform its regulatory approach. To this end, this panel, moderated by Program on Extremism Senior Research Fellow Bennett Clifford, reviewed the scope of the “online radicalization” problem in the U.S. today, the current approaches of online service providers, and the experiences of countries around the world in regulating online counter-extremism policies. 

Panelists:

-Joe Whittaker, Lecturer in Cyber Threats, Swansea University

-Kris McGuffie, Director of Research, Spectrum Labs

-Jacob Berntsson, Head of Policy and Research, Tech Against Terrorism

 


 

The Revival of Jewish Cultural Heritage and Combating Antisemitism and Terrorism in the Middle East

For centuries, the Middle East has been a space of coexistence and diversity, home to Jews, Christians, and Muslims. In 2014, ISIS embarked on a campaign of targeted attacks against cultural heritage- including Jewish cultural heritage- in order to destroy that coexistence. However, recent developments have inspired many communities to reclaim their heritage and rebuild in the face of ISIS's terrorism. Numerous initiatives have been launched across the globe to help restore the cultural heritage of cities like Mosul and other cities in the region. 

On Wednesday, March 16th at 11:00 AM EST, The Program on Extremism at George Washington University hosted an online discussion that will focus on the importance of cultural heritage recovery to combat terrorism and antisemitism. The panel, moderated by Program on Extremism research fellow Omar Mohammed, featured insights from Katharina von Schnurbein, the European Commission's Coordinator on combating Antisemitism and fostering Jewish life, and Edwin Shuker, Vice President of the Board of Deputies of British Jews.


 

The Global Jihad in Flux: Nexus Project Launch

On March 7 at 09:30 AM EST, the Program on Extremism launched a new project— The Global-Local Jihadist Nexus: Islamic State and Al-Qaida Affiliates Monitor (Nexus). This project draws on a global network of subject matter experts and locally-based researchers to monitor Islamic State and al-Qaida affiliates across the Middle East, Africa, and Asia, as well as their support and enabling networks in the West. The project regularly publishes analysis through our new platform, Nexus.

As part of the launch event on March 7, the Program released the first tranche of articles and reports written by our inaugural authors. The event opened with remarks by Program on Extremism Director Lorenzo Vidino, and then turned to keynote presentations from three of our distinguished authors:

-Bulama Bukarti, Tony Blair Institute for Global Change
-Tricia Bacon, School of Public Affairs, American University
-Farkhondeh Akbari, Gender, Peace, and Security Centre at Monash University 

Their analysis covered regions including West Africa, Somalia, and Afghanistan. A moderated discussion followed chaired by Program on Extremism senior research fellow Haroro Ingram and research fellow Andrew Mines.


 

Events Archive