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Extremism: no victory in violence - Freedom From Fear Magazine (F3), May 2023

No peace without development, justice and inclusion

"This year began with the harrowing news of a terrorist attack at a mosque in Peshawar, Pakistan. The world watched and listened in horror as the death toll rose from an initial 30 to over 100 within hours as more bodies were uncovered from the debris. More than 200 people, mostly police officers, were injured.  This daring suicide bomb attack at a mosque in a police compound was a stark reminder of the imminent danger posed by terrorism and violent extremism, and an example of their effect. This attack was among a number that occurred in the first quarter of the year, with varying degrees of impact on lives and infrastructure.  

Terrorism and violent extremism are the bane of our time. From individual lone-wolf mass shootings to suicide bombings, the methods vary but the impacts are devastating. Beyond loss of lives, injuries and the destruction of infrastructure, the twin scourges of terrorism and violent extremism threaten democracy, adversely affect stability of governments, and retard economic development. Such incidents are difficult to foretell and forestall due to their pervasive and unpredictable nature.

This issue of the Freedom From Fear magazine, produced by UNICRI in cooperation with the Ghent University, focuses on diverse but critical topics related to violent extremism and terrorism, their far-reaching and cross-cutting consequences, and preventative efforts that are underway. From analysing new tools used by terrorist actors to new hot spots for terrorist attacks, this issue shows evolving trends as terrorists and violent extremists adapt to a changing world. A crucial element is the nexus between terrorism and transnational organized crime, a mutually profitable symbiosis that sustains both terrorist and criminal groups and activities. This issue also assesses the emerging link between climate change and violent extremism, and its resultant threat to peace and security, while also highlighting gender-based norms of violent extremism. It amplifies the voices of terrorism survivors and their role in preventing radicalization, as well as lessons learned from disengaging from violent extremism. This issue also examines how sports can support strategies to address violent extremism and promote inclusion. Lastly, to promote justice and accountability, it looks at the investigation, prosecution and adjudication of radiological and nuclear terrorism.

Furthermore, this issue illustrates efforts by UNICRI and partners to stay ahead of the curve through diverse initiatives. As the United Nations research and training institute for criminal justice and crime prevention, UNICRI has a vested interest in enhancing safety and security. The Institute closely monitors trends and developments, with a view to enhancing the capacity of Member States and partners to prevent, curtail or respond to such incidents. UNICRI implements an array of programmes that contribute to counter-terrorism efforts and works with UN entities, governments, and civil society actors in its whole-of-society approach."

Antonia Marie De Meo, Director of UNICRI



Editorial by Antonia Marie De Meo

Preventing/countering violent extremism and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals: an impact nexus by Noel Klima
COVID-19, terrorism, counter-terrorism, and countering violent extremism by Anasuya Ray
New generations will be able to find a sense of belonging by Adil Radoini
Terror and dark power in Afghanistan by Barbara Schiavulli
The nexus between terrorism and transnational organized crime by Chiara Bologna and Christian Vianna de Azevedo
From Manhattan to Tripoli: the odyssey of the looted lady and the bearded man One year later – 31 March 2023 by Monzer Alaily
Climate change and violent extremism: a threat to peace and security by Matthew Burnett Stuart and Manuela Brunero
Preventing “lone wolf attacks” in Japan: lessons from western research on radicalization by Mana Yamamoto
Gender-based norms and violent extremism: what’s the way forward for prevention? by Marta Pompili and Alice Roberti
Join the fight against human trafficking: the role of TATLI in Tanzania by Godfrey Mpandikizi
The voices of the victims/survivors of terrorism and their role in preventing radicalization by Guillaume Denoix de Saint Marc
Disengaging from violent extremism: what can we learn from crime desistance research? by Sigrid Raets
A “Fresh start through sport”? Supporting positive youth development in marginalised communities in Northern Ireland by Dr. Brendan Coyle, Dr Conor Murray, Dr Gavin Breslin, Mr Mark Dennison and Mr John Marshall
Investigation, prosecution and adjudication of radiological and nuclear terrorism by Talgat Toleubayev
The role of technology in chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear disinformation: risks and benefits by Mariana Diaz Garcia and Francesco Marelli
CICTE: Regional cooperation to prevent and counter terrorism
The Criminalization of Travelling for the purpose of terrorism by Anna Terrone
The human behind the badge and the AI behind the human by Maria Eira and Emma Kristina Persson


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