Global Counterterrorism Participants Study Countering Terrorist Narratives in Africa, Europe

G-CT_COI participants study Countering Terrorist Narratives in Africa, Europe

Global Counterterrorism Participants Study Countering Terrorist Narratives in Africa, Europe

By Christine June
Public Affairs Office
George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies

GARMISCH-PARTENKIRCHEN, Germany (May 24, 2016) – Seventy-three participants from 41 countries learned about Countering Terrorist Narratives in Africa and Europe during the first day of the Global Counterterrorism Alumni Community of Interest Workshop at the George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies.

This workshop will focus on “Countering Terrorist Narratives: Best Practices from Around the Globe.” The workshop will end May 26.

The Global CT Alumni COI Workshops are designed to support and engage the more than 1,500 alumni of the Marshall Center’s premier Program on Terrorism and Security Studies, as well as CT-focused alumni from other U.S. Department of Defense Regional Centers.

Day one began with welcoming remarks from retired U.S. Army Lt. Gen. Keith Dayton, Marshall Center director, and Professor James Howcroft, the COI coordinator and PTSS course director.

The rest of the day was spent in panel discussions on Countering Terrorist Narratives in Africa and Europe.

Dr. Nicholas Janszen, Marshall Center’s professor of National Security Studies at the College of International and Security Studies, moderated the African panel with panelist Herman Jangi, assistant commissioner of Police from Mauritius Police Force and an alumnus from PTSS, and Lt. Col. Deo Asiimwe, chieftaincy of Military Intelligence at the Uganda Peoples' Defense Forces and alumnus from the Marshall Center’s Program on Applied Security Studies.

Jangi discussed what Mauritius is doing to counter the appeal of terrorist narratives and propaganda, the key challenges involved, the best practices identified that fellow alumni could learn from, and recommendations to improve our ability to counter terrorist narratives.

Asiimwe talked about how East African Region is one of the growing hot spots for terror activities. He listed some of the terror groups in the region include: Al-Qaeda; Al-Shabaab; Allied Democratic Forces (ADF); Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA); Al-Ittihad Al-Islamia (AIAI); and, Al-Muhajiroun.

German Lt. Col. Hans-Jürgen Lauer, Marshall Center’s military professor at CISS, moderated the European panel with panelist Dr. Agata Furgala, from Poland and a PTSS alumna.

Furgala defined the role of the Polish government institutions in educating and informing citizens about terrorist threats.

Sixty of the 73 participants are Marshall Center PTSS Alumni, representing 17 PTSS courses spanning ten years (2005 to 2015).

This is the fourth alumni community of interest workshop this fiscal year.  This is the seventh successive Counterterrorism Alumni Community of Interest event that started with an inaugural workshop in October 2010.

Objectives of Global CT Alumni Community of Interest workshop are:

  • Operationalize the network of CT-focused alumni from the Marshall Center and other U.S. Regional Centers by developing and strengthening ties between alumni, encouraging the exchange of ideas and collaboration, and enabling a platform for partners and stakeholders to engage with, support, and elicit feedback from alumni.
  • Discuss and exchange ideas, best practices and recommendations for approaches to effectively counter terrorist narratives and propaganda and associated challenges involved.
  • Build, sustain and invigorate a networked and enlightened community of current and future leaders working in the field of counterterrorism.
  • Open dialogue and share Euro-Atlantic approaches for addressing emerging 21st century security challenges including asymmetric threats from non-state actors.  

The next Alumni Community of Interest Workshop will focus on “Countering Transnational Organized Crime” and will be held June 20 to 24. The next PTSS will be July 7 to Aug. 4.