Author

Anne Speckhard

Anne Speckhard has 61 articles published.

Anne Speckhard
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

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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PERSPECTIVE: Can We Repatriate the ISIS Children?

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They were either brought, or born, into the terrorist group by their parents who served ISIS in various capacities.

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Can an ISIS Terrorist be Rehabilitated and Reintegrated into Society?

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Some died in Syria and some have made their way back home, but nearly 10,000 male FTFs, approximately 2,000 of them from Europe, are currently being held by the Syrian Democratic Forces.

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The Security Risk Posed by ISIS Women Smuggling Their Way Out of Camp Hol

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The SDF acknowledges these escapes, most recently confirming Swedish news reports that ISIS women from the Netherlands, France, Finland, Switzerland and Sweden have all been smuggled out of the camp in recent months.

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The Curious Case of ISIS’s Recent Audio Diatribe About Qatar

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In an unusual twist, ISIS spokesperson Abu Hamza al-Qurashi broke ranks with previous statements by al Qaeda, its affiliates, and ISIS in singling out and threatening Qatar, rather than their usual targets Saudi Arabia or Western powers.

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PERSPECTIVE: Why Branding Antifa a Terror Group Is a Diversion

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Defending violence as defensive in nature is in line with terror groups, but there are key differences.

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Finland’s Challenges Facing Potential Repatriation of ISIS Detainees

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In some of these returnees, violence has been forsaken for the time being, but this Takfiri mindset is still present.

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How Assad’s Atrocities Became a Powerful Motivator for Terrorist Recruitment

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Lessons for the world to learn about how terrorist groups use humanitarian crises to influence and engage youth.

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Recruiting from Beyond the Grave: A European Follows Anwar al-Awlaki Into ISIS

When Ibn Adam was introduced to Awlaki’s virulent influence, Awlaki was already dead, drone killed in Yemen by the American forces. Yet Awlaki was still alive and well on the Internet.

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PERSPECTIVE: Delegitimizing ISIS and Militant Jihadist Ideologies May Also Require Addressing Anti-Western Biases

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Some commenters took the counternarrative and speaker having been from their country as an insult to their national pride and thus suggested that they did not find the speaker credible.

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Is Internet Recruitment Enough to Seduce a Vulnerable Individual into Terrorism?

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Of the 236 ICSVE interviews that have been translated and coded on 342 variables, 117 reported some element of Internet-based recruitment as part of their process of joining the group.

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