Programme Paper

Project: International Security Department

Jay Edwards and Benoît Gomis
  • Ahead of the publication of the review of the 'Prevent' strand of the government's counter-terrorism strategy (CONTEST), this paper analyses the main Islamic terrorist attacks in the UK since 9/11.
  • The conclusions made from this analysis aim to challenge commonly held assumptions and provide a background for an assessment of the current 'Prevent' strategy.
  • From a policy standpoint the current Prevent strategy has confused the distinction between extremism and violent extremism, is seen as an intelligence-gathering mission, and has failed to take into account the impact of British foreign policy as a key driver of violent extremism.
  • From an operational point of view local authorities must understand the make-up of the local Muslim communities, engage with them while the strategy is being formulated, and focus on the discussion and demystification of violent extremism.