The House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence’s Subcommittee on Terrorism held a hearing to examine the Bipartisan Policy Center’s (BPC) National Security Preparedness Group’s (NSPG) recent report, Preventing Violent Radicalization in America.
Dr. John Gannon
NSPG member President, BAE Systems Intelligence & Security
Dr. Peter Neumann
BPC Visiting Scholar Founding Director, International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation at King’s College London
An excerpt from Dr. Peter Neumann’s testimony: Radicalization and Counter-radicalization
- There isn’t a simple template or formula that would explain how people radicalize. Radicalization involves many steps and stages at which the process can be stopped or reversed. They are opportunities for prevention, which can (and should) be harnessed by policymakers.
- Unlike counterterrorism, which targets terrorists, counter-radicalization is focused on the communities that are targeted by terrorists for recruitment. The aim is to protect, strengthen, and empower these communities, so they become resilient to violent extremism.
- Counter-radicalization is a policy theme, not a single policy. It is delivered through a multitude of channels. The range of relevant activities is potentially unlimited, but typically involves: messaging; engagement and outreach; education and training; and capacity-building.
- None of the instruments of counter-radicalization are coercive. Counter-radicalization is not primarily a law enforcement tool. Law enforcement, however, has a role to play. It represents a “bridge” between counterterrorism and counter-radicalization, and helps to inform both.