Resurgence of Extremism and De-Radicalization in Post-ISIS Syria

Recorded Date: December 18, 2020

Episode 2 - Resurgence of Extremism and De-Radicalization in Post-ISIS Syria: Current Challenges and the Launch of the Rojava Information Centre Report on De-Radicalization

There has been a serious lack of involvement by the international community in supporting the Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria (AANES), Rojava. The Kurds, who have been Western allies, are left with limited to no resources in maintaining camps and detention centres that hold ISIS remnants and their families and children. This neglect has led to tough decisions by the Self-Administration in Rojava to release thousands of Syrian nationals affiliated with ISIS from these camps and detention centres, under the sponsorship of Arab tribes in the region.

In addition, thousands of Iraqi and other foreigners, including Western nationals, remain without any internationally sponsored mechanism to counter the spread of further radicalization. Under the watch of international organizations and states, the Al-Hol camp in Rojava-NE Syria served as a breeding ground for further indoctrination and radicalization among women and children. With thousands being foreign nationals, this poses a security threat not only to Rojava but the whole Arab world and the West, including Canada and the United States.

In this webinar, we explore the impact of unfulfilled promises by the international community and states, nation-state building, and collective solidarity, and how we explain the rise in jihadism and its relation to foreign policy. We also present the Rojava Information Centre (RIC) report on de-radicalization in the region. Our panel experts discuss the current situation, risk, conceptual discussion on the resurgence of extremism, and recommendations.

Meet our Panelists:

Dr. Kenneth Christie is the Program Head and a Professor in the Human Security and Peacebuilding graduate programs. Christie is a political scientist, author, editor, and international academic who has taught and conducted research at universities in the U.S., Singapore, South Africa, Norway, and Dubai. Working all over the world has given him a unique perspective on peace, development, and human security. His work has focused on issues of human rights, security, and democratization.

Dr. Anne Speckhard is Director of the International Center for the Study of Violent Extremism (ICSVE) and serves as an Adjunct Associate Professor of Psychiatry at Georgetown University. She has interviewed over 700 terrorists, their family members, and supporters in various parts of the world including in Western Europe, the Balkans, Central Asia, the Former Soviet Union, and the Middle East. She is a sought after counterterrorism expert and has consulted to NATO, OSCE, the EU Commission and EU Parliament, European and other foreign governments and to the U.S. Senate & House, Departments of State, Defense, Justice, Homeland Security, Health & Human Services, CIA, and FBI.

Mr. Saleh Moslem is a familiar Kurdish political figure in the politics of NE Syria and he was one of the founders of the Democratic Union Party (PYD) in 2003. He is a member of the Co-Presidency Council of the party. Mr. Moslem is a frequent presence in European political institutions and has been invited and hosted by a number of officials in the EU, including addressing the European Parliament.

Mr. Haval Ahmad is an Associate Faculty at Royal Roads University teaching and supervising in the Master of Arts in Human Security and Peacebuilding program. He is also a Doctoral Candidate in International Politics at Aberystwyth University in Wales. His work focuses on human security, counter violent extremism, and de/radicalization. His current research projects look into the deradicalization of children and youth in the post-ISIS era, while other projects include co-authoring research looking into human security in the de facto autonomous region of Rojava in NE Syria.

Mr. Thomas McClure is a researcher and spokesperson with the Rojava Information Center, the top news and research center in North and East Syria. RIC works with all the world's top news organizations to help them report on the situation in NES, and also produces in-depth reports based on original, on-the-ground research. RIC's new report 'Hidden Battlefields' assesses the Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria's various rehabilitation and deradicalization programs in prisons, camps, and former ISIS strongholds, and asks how the international community can strengthen and expand upon these tentative efforts.

Watch Episode 1 and Episode 3 of this webinar series.

Additional Resources:

Resilience