Author

Anne Speckhard

Anne Speckhard has 73 articles published.

Anne Speckhard, Ph.D., is Director of the International Center for the Study of Violent Extremism (ICSVE) and serves as an Adjunct Associate Professor of Psychiatry at Georgetown University School of Medicine. She has interviewed over 700 terrorists, their family members and supporters in various parts of the world including in Western Europe, the Balkans, Central Asia, the Former Soviet Union and the Middle East. In the past three years, she has interviewed ISIS (n=239) defectors, returnees and prisoners as well as al Shabaab cadres (n=16) and their family members (n=25) as well as ideologues (n=2), studying their trajectories into and out of terrorism, their experiences inside ISIS (and al Shabaab), as well as developing the Breaking the ISIS Brand Counter Narrative Project materials from these interviews which includes over 175 short counter narrative videos of terrorists denouncing their groups as un-Islamic, corrupt and brutal which have been used in over 125 Facebook campaigns globally. She has also been training key stakeholders in law enforcement, intelligence, educators, and other countering violent extremism professionals on the use of counter-narrative messaging materials produced by ICSVE both locally and internationally as well as studying the use of children as violent actors by groups such as ISIS and consulting with governments on issues of repatriation and rehabilitation. In 2007, she was responsible for designing the psychological and Islamic challenge aspects of the Detainee Rehabilitation Program in Iraq to be applied to 20,000 + detainees and 800 juveniles. She is a sought after counterterrorism expert and has consulted to NATO, OSCE, the EU Commission and EU Parliament, European and other foreign governments and to the U.S. Senate & House, Departments of State, Defense, Justice, Homeland Security, Health & Human Services, CIA, and FBI and appeared on CNN, BBC, NPR, Fox News, MSNBC, CTV, and in Time, The New York Times, The Washington Post, London Times and many other publications. She regularly speaks and publishes on the topics of the psychology of radicalization and terrorism and is the author of several books, including Talking to Terrorists, Bride of ISIS, Undercover Jihadi and ISIS Defectors: Inside Stories of the Terrorist Caliphate. Her publications are found here: https://georgetown.academia.edu/AnneSpeckhardWebsite: and on the ICSVE website http://www.icsve.org Follow @AnneSpeckhard

PERSPECTIVE: New National Strategy for Countering Domestic Terrorism Is a Big Step in the Right Direction

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To address, prevent, and stop domestic violent extremism and terrorism, understanding the narratives and groups is key.

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PERSPECTIVE: What White Supremacists Tell Us About Recruitment and Deradicalization

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This particular sample of white supremacists had a much higher level of adverse childhood experiences than to be expected in the general population and were as a result more vulnerable to groups that gave out the expectation of belonging.

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PERSPECTIVE: Which Lessons Learned from the War on Terror Can Help Us Confront Domestic Terrorism?

In light of the recent Capitol Hill riots, there has been a growing realization that domestic terrorism is now a greater threat to the homeland than internationally linked militant jihadist threats from groups like ISIS, al Qaeda, al Shabaab, etc.

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How Do Those Vulnerable to Terror Recruitment Respond to YouTube Counter-Narrative Videos?

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As the premiere video-sharing application, YouTube has been particularly useful to terrorist groups, including ISIS. As such, it has also been a target for counter terrorism efforts, namely the use of counter narrative videos to disrupt and refute the messages put forth by these groups.

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PERSPECTIVE: Effective Deterrence for Terrorism in Canada in a New Decade

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The Canadian Incidents Database [CIDB] identified 1,405 terrorist or extremist incidents occurring in Canada between 1960 and 2014, in addition to 410 Canadian-affiliated (perpetrator or target) terrorist or extremist incidents occurring outside of Canada during the same time period.

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PERSPECTIVE: Incels, Autism, Violent Extremism and the Case of Alek Minassian

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Incels who have spent time fomenting anger and frustration in online forums also find companionship there.

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A Glimpse Inside Incel Ideology

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There is a common motivation to be understood and to engage with those trying to understand them.

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PERSPECTIVE: What Incels Can Tell Us About Isolation, Resentment, and Terror Designations

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Several high-profile acts of violence linked to the incel community have stoked much speculation about the threat.

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Can Case of Samantha Elhassani Be a Positive Example for Repatriation of Other ISIS Wives?

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Repatriation of the mothers brings their children to safety; these young ISIS children committed no crimes.

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European Attacks and the Uproar Over Hate Speech as ISIS Virtual Caliphate Continues to Reign

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Macron’s statements and the attacks offered ISIS and al-Qaeda valuable fodder to strike with relevant trending content.

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PERSPECTIVE: Qatar Takes a Major Step Toward a Freer Society

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On November 3, as the United States anxiously watched democracy at work, Qatar announced forthcoming democratic processes as well, a welcome move for the Gulf and Middle Eastern countries which have generally shied away from democratic governance.

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Will Upcoming Trials of ISIS Women in Syria Speed Up Repatriations of Some?

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Many ISIS members have been held for three years or more and could serve out sentences in a short span of time.

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ISIS-Linked Digital Activism and Sympathy-Raising on Behalf of ISIS Women Held in SDF Camps

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This alone should be a strong argument for speedy repatriation efforts by Western countries to end the ability of ISIS to tug at the heartstrings of new and old supporters to still act from afar on behalf of this heinous group.

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PERSPECTIVE: ISIS Death in SDF Prison Raises Questions About Repatriation Before They Face Death

Tuberculosis, which he likely caught in the SDF prison, doesn’t have to be a life sentence with proper medical care which he didn’t have in NE Syria, but would have had in German prison.

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Social Media Tracking of ISIS Women and Real-Life Actions of ISIS Men on Their Behalf

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ISIS women in camps who have access to phones and social media are angered by their claimed grievances over transfers.

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PERSPECTIVE: How Men and Women Were Drawn to the Hyper-Gendered ISIS Caliphate

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The gender perspective must be kept in mind considering experiences and how their risk of recidivism can be minimized.

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Jesse Morton: A Story of Trauma and Radicalization

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The impact of trauma on radicalization and terrorist recruitment has only recently made its way into the collective psyche of counterterrorism researchers and practitioners and is still not well understood.

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PERSPECTIVE: Spontaneous Deradicalization and the Path to Repatriate Some ISIS Members

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If a recruiter can talk a person into terrorism, it is also possible to talk him back out of it.

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ISIS and the Militant Jihad on Instagram

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Recruiters continue to be prolific online, encouraging supporters to hope and work toward the Caliphate’s return and to seek revenge on those who destroyed it by mounting attacks at home.

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Is Turkey a Bad Actor in Regard to ISIS Prisoners Being Held in SDF Territory?

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While a Moldovan woman was certainly “rescued” from the well-documented dire conditions at al Hol, she was being held as a detainee in Camp al Hol as an ISIS fighter’s wife.

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