On February 2 at 10 AM EST, The Program on Extremism at The George Washington University and the National Counterterrorism, Innovation, Technology, and Education Center (NCITE) held a virtual event titled "Foundations of the Foreign Fighter Problem: Investigating Blindspots Relating to Gender, Minors, and Families." Almost three years after the Islamic State's territorial collapse in Syria and Iraq, questions remain regarding the men, women, and children from around the world who traveled to join the conflict. This event focused on discussing the scope of the "foreign fighter problem" and provided insights into some of the major existing knowledge gaps relating to gender, minors, and families. Devorah Margolin, Director of Strategic Initiatives and Senior Research Fellow moderated the discussion, which featured:
- Mary Beth Altier, Associate Professor at New York University's Center for Global Affairs.
- Moustafa Ayad, Executive Director for Africa, the Middle East and Asia at the Institute for Strategic Dialogue (ISD).
- Joana Cook, Assistant Professor of Terrorism and Political Violence in the Faculty of Governance and Global Affairs, Leiden University, Senior Project Manager at ICCT, & Editor-in-Chief of the ICCT journal.
- Austin Doctor, Assistant Professor of Political Science, University of Nebraska at Omaha, a member of the executive committee for the National Counterterrorism Innovation, Technology, and Education Center, (NCITE) a DHS Center of Excellence, & a nonresident fellow with the Modern War Institute at West Point.
A list of relevant works by the panelists and others is available here:
Altier, Mary Beth. “Lessons for Reintegrating Islamic State Detainees” Lawfare, March 7, 2021.
Altier, Mary Beth. "Violent Extremist Disengagement and Reintegration: Lessons from Over 30 Years of DDR." Washington, D.C.: RESOLVE Network, 2021.
Altier, Mary Beth. “Criminal or Terrorist? Fear, Bias, and Public Support for Prisoner Re-entry Programs.” Terrorism and Political Violence, 2021.
Cook, Joana and Gina Vale. "From Daesh To Diaspora: Tracing the women and minors of Islamic State,” ICSR, 2018.
Cook, Joana and Gina Vale, "From Daesh to ‘Diaspora’ II: The Challenges Posed by Women and Minors After the Fall of the Caliphate,” CTC Sentinel 12:6, 2019.
Promoting collaborative policies of inclusion relating to children of far right and Islamist parents in Western Europe (PREPARE)
*This event is supported by a grant project funded by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate (S&T).