Author

Anne Speckhard

Anne Speckhard has 48 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

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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Kimberly Pullman: A Canadian Woman Lured Over the Internet to the ISIS Caliphate

Western women had all sorts of reasons for joining ISIS, from seeking romance, falling in love, wanting an adventure, following a man, or escaping a bad family situation, to rejecting Western society where they felt rejected themselves.

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ISIS in Their Own Words: Recruitment, Motivations, Duties and Disillusionment

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The participants had vast variation in their educational levels and socioeconomic statuses, thus representing the broad range of people from all over the world who have joined ISIS.

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Leaked Document Reveals EU in Talks with Syrian Democratic Forces About the Fate of EU ISIS Detainees

The reluctance by EU member states to take responsibility for those who left from their territories to join ISIS is due to concerns about ISIS returnees constituting a danger to European society and inability to prosecute and imprison them.

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PERSPECTIVE: Ireland’s Lisa Smith Is a Test Run on Repatriation of ISIS Women

Lisa went to Syria hoping to find freedom from alcohol and the “sins” that had plagued her life and to start anew deepening and following the Islam in which she found comfort. Yet she ended up repeatedly imprisoned.

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PERSPECTIVE: What Are the Legal and Moral Issues and Repercussions of the U.S. Assassination of Soleimani?

This act of war may lead to exactly what Soleimani was aiming for – ousting U.S. forces from Iraq and diminishing U.S. influence there.

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PERSPECTIVE: U.S.-Iran Proxy Battles in Iraq and the Struggle for a Coherent Foreign Policy

The United States faces growing isolation in Iraq, with politicians and security officials unsure if they want to stand up to Iranian-backed protestors on behalf of U.S. safety.

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Stopping the Next London Bridge Attack: How to Reduce Risks Posed by Terror Parolees

Prison can mean a separation from the group and time for reflection, or fertile recruiting ground for extremists.

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British-Born Jack Letts Discusses Mental Illness and His Path to ISIS

Stripped of citizenship, Letts says he wants to face justice at home as he’s “going more and more crazy.”

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Is Turkey Fueling a New Jihad in Northeast Syria?

Our NATO ally may be arming, paying for, and backing another monster — perhaps the “son of ISIS.”

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PERSPECTIVE: Baghdadi Just Confirmed ISIS ‘Martyrdom’ Narrative, Ensuring ISIS Will Live

Baghdadi’s importance to ISIS needs to be viewed through the lens of his organization’s birth and growth.

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PERSPECTIVE: An ISIS Bride on the Run

Up until last week, Bouchra and her sister-in-law, both formerly strong supporters of the Islamic State ideology, were imprisoned among 12,000 other women and children.

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PERSPECTIVE: ‘Fake News’ About Our Kurdish Allies Betrayed by Trump

Turkey falsely labeling Kurds as terrorists, but Kurds defeated the most heinous terrorist killers yet seen to date.

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Who Are the ISIS Fighters in Custody, and How Can They Be Repatriated?

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The SDF has been struggling with overcrowded prisons and is now facing Turkish threat as ISIS calls for jailbreaks.

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