Working group IV

Working group IV

Evaluating Counterterrorism Performance – Effective interventions and best practices

The working group was chaired by Professor Schmid. The group of experts discussed what the most valuable components are of effective interventions for deradicalisation. Professor Schmid defined a toolbox of counterterrorism measures: politics and governance, economic and social measures, psychological-communicational-educational, military, judicial and legal, police and prison system measures, and intelligence and secret service measures. From his twelve rules for preventing and combating terrorism we highlight some: 

- Try to address the underlying conflict issues exploited by the terrorists and work towards a peaceful solution while not making substantive concessions to the terrorists themselves
- Keep in mind that terrorists seek publicity and exploit the media and the internet to gain recognition, propagate their cause, glorify their attacks, win recruits, solicit donations, gather intelligence, disseminate terrorist know-how and communicate with their target audiences. Try to devise communication strategies to counter them in each of these areas
- Show solidarity with, and offer support to, victims of terrorism at home and abroad 
- Counter the ideologies, indoctrination and propaganda of secular and non-secular terrorists and try to get the upper hand in the war of ideas – the battle for the hearts and minds of those terrorists claim to speak and fight for

In addition to that, one of the results of the Safire project, a project in the EU 7th Framework research program, is that it is very important that practitioners should be seen as credible by radicalised people. Good examples of trustworthy key figures to play a role in deradicalisation programs might be: formers, religious leaders with moderate views on religious issues, good professionals f.e. local police or youth workers who can express and stimulate mutual understanding.

A very important lesson is also that feelings of being deprived should be addressed. The only way to deal with de-radicalisation is dealing with all causes, both ideology as socio economic issues.

Some people enter extremist groups as a peer process. They are recruited and laterbecome radicalised. People become member for social reasons as an alternative for their family and their environment. The intervention then would be to treat them in a personal way and humanize them.

It is also important to show the less attractive points of a terrorist career . To pay attention to the places people want to go and show them a realistic picture.

To the question as how effective Europe is in its counter terrorist strategy, it is noticed that it is not clear what Europe is, who is driving the bus, nations or Europe, and is there any strategy? And antiterrorist policy is often secret and therefore not able to be controlled or judged.