This is a roundup of what CREST has been up to this June. You can stay up-to-date by signing up to the CREST Newsletter, and have CREST news and updates delivered straight to your inbox.
A new series of CREST reports tackle the implications of the demise of the Islamic State’s territorial ambitions in Syria and Iraq.
Islamic State (IS) are losing their grip on their territories in Syria and Iraq. Despite this, it would be naïve to assume that they, and their campaign of terror, are finished. Many of the problems that led to their rise in this region haven’t gone away, and even after the potential downfall of IS there’s no reason that their brand of intolerance and violence won’t continue.
We covered some of these topics in CREST Security Review Issue 4 – ‘After Islamic State’, which you can download and read for free here. In addition, we have also held a series of workshops bringing together leading academics from around the globe to address these issues. Led by CREST Researcher Dr Cerwyn Moore, these workshops brought together a variety of disciplinary perspectives and the latest data on the affected regions.
This month we launched the first in a series of reports based on those workshops. These reports present the key concerns for territories with significant Islamic State presence. They highlight the underlying problems that provide an environment where Islamism violence can thrive, and how these developments threatening stability in these regions.
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The first report, After Islamic State: Workshop Report I, which is available to download here, focuses on Iraq, Iran, Jordan and Syria. It also places a spotlight on Ayman al-Zawahiri and what Zawahiri’s writings signify for al-Qaeda’s development and plans.
List of awards
CREST have picked 8 new, exciting research projects which subject to contracts being finalised, are listed below. Further information about these projects available on the CREST website here.
- Dr Joel Busher at Coventry University, The internal brakes on violent escalation
- Professor Fiona Gabbert and Dr Gordon Wright at Goldsmiths, University of London, Quantifying the effectiveness of an evidence-based rapport-building training programme for use in information-gathering contexts
- Professor Martin Innes at Cardiff University, Soft Facts and Digital Behavioural Influencing
- Professor Ashraf Labib at University of Portsmouth, Taking Decisions about Information Value
- Professor Wendy Moncur at University of Dundee,Keeping Secrets Online
- Dr Nick Neave at Northumbria University, The Cybersecurity Risks of Digital Hoarding
- Professor Math Noortmann at Coventry University and Professor Juliette Koning at Oxford Brookes University, Imaginative scenario planning for law enforcement organisations
- Professor Rosalind Searle at Coventry University, Assessing and mitigating the impact of organisational change on counterproductive work behavior: an operational (dis)trust based framework
We added two new blogs to the Early Career Researchers Series:
Teamwork In Extreme Environments
CREST Researcher Olivia Brown looks at how teams function effectively in extreme environments. Her research will focus specifically on expedition teams trekking across harsh landscapes and emergency response teams responding to incidents such as major traffic collisions, terrorist incidents and floodings.
Recall: The Challenge Of Eliciting Reliable Information
Eliciting reliable and detailed information is a crucial element of intelligence gathering. There is a rich seam of psychological research on eyewitness memory and interviewing in investigative contexts, but how well does this apply to information gathering in intelligence gathering? CREST Researcher Feni Kontogianni seeks to find out in relation to one aspect, memory recall.
Opportunities & Events
iIIRG 2017 Monterey, CA.
10th Annual Conference & Masterclass of the International Investigative Interviewing Research Group
The iIIRG annual conference promotes specialist knowledge exchange between practitioners and academics, professionals and researchers, all with an interest and expertise in:
- Investigative interviewing of victims, witnesses, and suspects
- High interest groups and intelligence interviewing
- International war crimes investigations
- Interview advice, training, and decision making
- Specialist interviewing skills (including intimidated, vulnerable and reluctant witnesses, use of intermediaries)
- Forensic linguistics
- Detecting deception
Join for the two day masterclass on intelligence interviewing and three days of professional presentations on the most recent research findings, and ample opportunities to share best practice.
For more information about the conference and venue: www.iiirg.org
Masterclass: 3 July – 4 July
Conference: 5 July – 7 July
Out and about
Congratulations to Professor Michele Grossman who has been awarded a 2017-18 Australia-New Zealand Counter-Terrorism Committee grant to study the role of community support in reintegrating children and family members returning from foreign conflict.
Michele has also been awarded a new grant through the CVE Centre of the Australian Attorney-General’s Dept. to map the capacity and willingness of social service providers around Australia to offer intervention and support services for youth at risk of violent extremism.
This project builds on earlier work conducted by Michele and colleagues at Victoria University, University of Queensland and Western Sydney University on similar issues and seeks to understand the resourcing needs of local community-based services as part of the Australian government’s intervention support framework across all states and territories.
Society for Terrorism Research 2nd Postgraduate Conference
The Second Narrative Criminology Symposium
Simon Copeland also gave a presentation entitled ‘Telling Stories of Terrorism: Kin and Peer Influences in the Narrative Accounts of Terrorists’ at the Narrative Criminology Research Network, The Second Narrative Criminology Symposium at the University of Oslo, Norway on 15-16th June.
International Sikh Research Conference 2017
On Saturday 17th June Jasjit Singh presented a paper titled “Modelling ‘Sikh radicalisation’ in Britain” at the International Sikh Research Conference 2017 held at the University of Warwick. The audience was mainly Sikh – a mix of academics and non-academics and included a number of Sikh activists.
Feedback on the presentation was overwhelmingly positive and included comments such as “Brilliant, well researched, illuminating, logical research … this is overdue research that needs to go to community consultants that work for police and prevent co-ordinators and journalists.”
CREST on film
CREST YouTube channel
Our YouTube channel showcases some of the research and work undertaken by CREST Researchers. Watch these videos and learn more about what other CREST researchers are doing. We encourage you to share these videos, which you can also view on our website here.
All of our videos are available under Creative Commons licence, which means you are free to share but please attribute by linking back to our youtube channel and website.Watch Professor Kim Knott talk about how ideas, beliefs and values are transmitted in different contexts, and the role they play in regulating behaviour.
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Read and share:
- Lessons From The Decline Of The North Caucasus Insurgency by Mark Youngman
- NEWS After Islamic State: Understanding The End Of The Caliphate
- NEWS Announcement Of Successful Awards For CREST’s Second Commissioning Call
- The Islamic State And Ayman Al-Zawahiri’s ‘Alternative Jihad’ by Donald Holbrook
- Is There Something Missing? Terror Finances And The UK Review Of Economic Crime by Nicholas Ryder
- What Next For Islamic State? by Nelly Lahoud
- Sri Lanka, Diaspora Politics And The End Of Violence by Christopher McDowell
- Transnational Activism Through The Ages by Cerwyn Moore
- Memory Recall: The Challenge Of Eliciting Reliable Information by Feni Kontogianni
- Teamwork In Extreme Environments by Olivia Brown
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