Leiden Safety and Security Blog

Google Hangout on Foreign Fighters

On October 14th, a Google Hangout on foreign fighters with international experts was broadcasted as part of the MOOC Terrorism and Counterterrorism: Comparing Theory & Practice of Leiden University. Experts who joined this chat were Mr. Mark Singleton (Director of the International Centre for Counter-Terrorism - ICCT The Hague), Mr. Raffaello Pantucci (Director International Security Studies, Royal United Services Institute- RUSI) and Mr. Daan Weggemans (Centre for Terrorism & Counterterrorism).

In this live video chat, hosted by Prof. dr. Edwin Bakker, Director of the Centre for Terrorism & Counterterrorism (Leiden University - Campus The Hague), these three experts discussed the issue of foreign fighters from three different angles. Mr. Daan Weggemans started with the individual/local level, reflecting on who these foreign fighters are and why they decide to join the violent jihad abroad (based on this publication). Then Mr. Raffaello Pantucci discussed his recently issued report on the threat posed by ISIS to the UK. He explored to what extent returning fighters pose a threat to Western countries. Finally, Mr. Mark Singleton looked at the issue of foreign fighters on an international level. He discussed the highly complex geopolitical context and looked at the (im)possibility of an international response, explaining why we are currently in a “marshland”.

Students enrolled in this free online course were able to ask questions to the experts via a “Question & Answer” app that was moderated by Ms. Jeanine de Roy van Zuijdewijn. More information about the course (next offering starting on Nov 3) can be found on this page.

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