Process of radicalisation among factors behind changing terrorism threat

The process of radicalisation and thus the very terrorist threat to the UK itself is changing, with the role of women, the changing profile of extreme right-wing groups and social media each contributing to the evolving dynamic.

These are among the findings of Pool Re's latest Terrorism Threat Report, the reinsurer's regular review of the contemporary threat.

­The report includes an assessment of ideological trends and processes in terrorist radicalisation written by the Director of International Security Studies at the Royal United Services Institute. Dr Raffaello Pantucci, a noted expert on counter terrorism, remarks on a number of emerging trends in terrorism prevention:

1. The increased role and visibility of women among Islamist terror organisations, serving as leading propagandists and even in frontline attack cells.

2. The changing demographic profile of extreme right-wing groups. The rise of groups such as National Action, with many young male and female members, means the stereotype of the elderly white men is outdated and XRW groups now resemble Islamist groups in composition.

3. XRW cells have also adopted Islamist language, with rallying cries of “white jihad” and calls for stabbing attacks to take place.

4. Growth of online social communities, providing an environment where fringe micro-ideologies can come to dominate.

Pool Re's latest report also considers the status of the current threat from dissident Irish republican movements. More in-depth analysis of Pool Re's report will be published in the next issue of CIR Magazine.

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