German Approaches in Countering Radicalization Hubs

News Stack of folded newspapers

German Approaches in Countering Radicalization Hubs

By James Brooks
Public Affairs Office
George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies

GARMISCH-PARTENKIRCHEN, Germany (June 13, 2016) – Prof. Dr. Daniel Heinke, the Director of the Policy Planning Staff and Special Affairs Directorate of the Ministry of Interior gave a faculty lecture of opportunity on Thursday, June 9, 2016.

Heinke’s lecture “German Approaches in Countering Radicalization Hubs,“ focused on domestic radicalization and possible counter-measures. He pointed out that counter-terrorism is both an international and domestic challenge, which requires a comprehensive approach. Prof. Dr. Heinke also presented a model of the radicalization process and underlined limitations of criminal investigations.

According to his research, besides information and education, criminal law is an important tool against violent extremism and terrorism, which can be directed against individuals as well as criminal organizations. Regarding centers where radicalization takes place, Heinke stressed the importance of looking at face-to-face radicalization in local communities rather than online radicalization, which he thinks is important, but overrated.

Heinke illustrated the possibilities and processes linked to the proscription of organizations under German law and mentioned recent examples. Finally he emphasized that a multi-pronged approach and counter-radicalization are key and that criminal investigation and prosecution against violent extremism and terrorism is not directed against a specific religious group.

Heinke is a Lieutenant Colonel of the German Armed Forces Reserve is a civil servant in Germany’s smallest federal state, Bremen. He served as a public prosecutor for several years prior to joining the Ministry of Interior. He is an adjunct professor for criminal law and terrorism studies at the State Police College of Bremen and associate fellow of the International Centre for the Study of radicalization and political violence (ICSR) at the King’s College in London.