NEWS & commentary
The Political Studies Association blog has just published a piece I've written asking whether recent terrorist attacks reflect a failure to adequately address the question of the reintegration of extremists.
A striking feature of recent jihadist attacks is that most of the perpetrators were well known, both to the security services and to the criminal justice system. Sydney hostage taker, Man Haron Monis was previously on a security watch list and had been charged with numerous offences, both political and non-political. Michael Adebolajo, one of Lee Rigby’s killers, was arrested in Kenya suspected of trying to reach Al Shabaab in Somalia, and was allegedly repeatedly approached by MI5 on his return to the UK. Cherif Kouachi had been in prison for helping to send people to fight with al-Qaeda in Iraq, and he and his brother, Said, were under surveillance until relatively recently.
Inevitably, questions have been asked over whether this knowledge, if handled differently, would have been able to prevent the attacks. Typically, such questions have been directed at the security services. However, as well as asking whether there have been security failures, it is important to ask whether these attacks represent a different missed opportunity: one of resettlement.
You can read the rest of the post on the PSA website.