Aidan Britto, a researcher at the freemuslim Association, Center for De-Radicalization and Extremism Prevention attended the United States Institute of Peace event: Resolve 2019.
The event was organized with working with previous and current researchers that have a good understanding of violent extremism in an attempt to find a solution to be able to handle and combat future violent extremism.
The Panels throughout the day emphasized on how extremism has spread since the unfortunate events of 9/11 and most importantly how terrorism is growing. Panelists all agreed on how poverty and extremism is the most persistent link. Specifically speaking, sudden poverty is the factor that correlates most with extremism.
Moreover, was a topic on when trying to measure extremism have we over or under emphasized on the importance of ideology? Yes and no.
Yes for the former. Extremism is violence driven by ideology.
No for the latter. Ideology structures violence but we don’t know if it causes violence.
In addition to this, some key points to asses are; 1. Most terrorist groups die within a year. However, their movements last a long time. 2. It is hard for governments, and international organisations to collect data due to unreliability of who records them, and what can be universally classified as terrorism.
The last panel of the day was hosted by elite government officials. These government officials were able to offer great first-hand knowledge on the subject of extremism, and potential future projections.
Notably was recently retired former U.S army officer and lieutenant general, Michael Nagata. General Nagata spent many years abroad in the Middle East, dealing with extremism on a daily basis. As quoted yesterday, he stated that ‘ I have literally spent 20 years of my life utilizing physical violence to deal with terrorists. I regret to report there are more terrorists now than when I started ’.
Here at Freemuslim Association, Center for De-Radicalization & Extremism Prevention we believe that the root causes of extremism need to be studied in order to prevent extremist groups in the future from recruiting more individuals.