The Prevention Project: Organizing Against Violent Extremism

In May 2016, continuing its collaboration with the UN Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate, INSCT was invited to join The Prevention Project, directed by former US Department of State counterterrorism official Eric Rosand through the Global Center on Cooperative Security. The project aims to support UN member states’ efforts to deal holistically and constructively with citizens who travel to fight with extremist and terrorist organizations, by developing effective community-led and, where appropriate, legal and administrative rehabilitation and reintegration programs.

Workshops

Understanding Interdisciplinary Responses to International Terrorism & Violent Extremisms

April 28, 2017 | SU College of Law

On April 28, 2017, students in INSCT Director of Research Corri Zoli’s National Security and Counterterrorism Research Center presented research findings in the workshop “Understanding Interdisciplinary Responses to International Terrorism & Violent Extremisms” at SU College of Law. The students’ work was the culmination of a semester-long partnership with Emory University, George Washington University, and the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Strategic Partnerships with Colleges and Universities.

Workshop topics included the role of the UN in crafting international counterterrorism policy; women’s leadership roles in terrorist organizations; the importance of anti-extremist K-12 educational programs; cross-cultural perspectives on CVE programs that work in other countries; the experience of vulnerable communities with CVE in the US; the challenge of implementing counterterrorist and counter-extremist laws and statutes; and the role of “hard” and “soft” power CVE mechanisms, including drones.

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Building Off-Ramps and Reintegrating Foreign Fighters and Terrorist Offenders (Challenges and Opportunities)

June 9, 2016 | George Washington University

Meeting Summary/Report

The rehabilitation and reintegration of terrorism offenders, returned foreign (terrorist) fighters, and (suspected) violent extremists is among the most pressing, yet politically and legally complex, issues facing policymakers and practitioners focused on countering and preventing the spread of violent extremism.

This one-day workshop brings together a diverse group of civil society practitioners, policymakers, and issue experts to highlight the challenges and lessons learned from rehabilitation and reintegration programs. Participants will enumerate a series of practical recommendations for government and non-government stakeholders to consider as they seek enhance the effectiveness of this critical element of the CVE tool-kit. The discussion will help shape one core section of The Prevention Project final report.

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INSCT GW Workshop Contribution: Emergent International CVE Legal & Policy Architecture

By Corri Zoli, Director of Research, & Nathan Sales, INSCT Faculty Member

International legal and policy architecture pertaining to The Prevention Project theme of rehabilitation and reintegration programs are critical yet legally and politically complex elements in the Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) tool-kit.

Firstly, INSCT representatives will begin by discussing the principal US federal law used to prosecute suspected terrorists and supporters—the so-called Material Support Statute (18 USC §2339B)—and its implications for CVE, specifically rehabilitation and reintegration efforts. The goal of this notoriously sweeping law is to prevent acts of terrorism by striking at financial and other support structures that help facilitate attacks.

Toward that end, the Material Support Statute makes it a crime to provide almost any sort of good or service to terrorists or designated terrorist organizations. They also will discuss judicial interpretations of the statute, in particular the US Supreme Court’s decision in Holder vs. Humanitarian Law Project, which held that providing a terrorist organization with training and instruction on how to resolve disputes peacefully and without violence count as prohibited material support. As we will see, that expansive interpretation has important implications not only for foreign terrorist fighters (FTFs) but also for those who use CVE strategies to address FTF problems.

Secondly, INSCT representatives will discuss results from research for the UN Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate (CTED) that examines member states’ implementation of CVE law and policy strategies in compliance with UN Security Resolution 2178 for managing the foreign terrorist fighter (FTF) phenomenon.[1]

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Prevention Project Partners


Readings

Terror in Europe: Combating Foreign Fighters and Homegrown Networks” (Matthew Levitt, Olivier Decottignies, and Eric Rosand | Washington Institute, March 31, 2016)

Development and Countering Violent Extremism” (Naureen Chowdhury Fink and Rafia Bhulai | Global Center, March 2016)

Development and Countering Violent Extremism

Foreign Fighters: An Updated Assessment of the Flow of Foreign Fighters into Syria and Iraq.” (Soufan Group, December 2015)

Countering Violent Extremism: What Are the Key Challenges for the United Nations?” (Naureen Chowdhury Fink | Global Center, November 2015)

Countering Violent Extremism: What Are the Key Challenges for the United Nations?

Does CVE Work? Lessons Learned From the Global Effort to Counter Violent Extremism.” (Peter Romaniuk | Global Center, September 2015)

Does CVE Work? Lessons Learned From the Global Effort to Counter Violent Extremism


Presentations

 Research Center CVE Student Presentations April 2016

On April 28, 2017, students in INSCT Director of Research Corri Zoli’s National Security and Counterterrorism Research Center presented research findings in the workshop “Understanding Interdisciplinary Responses to International Terrorism & Violent Extremisms” at SU College of Law. The students’ work was the culmination of a semester-long partnership with Emory University, George Washington University, and the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Strategic Partnerships with Colleges and Universities.

 

Brittney Clark

 

Kaitlyn Degnan

 

Brittani Howell

 

Zachary Lucas and Pauline Mabie

 

Lauren Lyons

 

Mahmoud Farouk

 

Charles Midkiff

 

Ethan Peterson

 

Liad Roytfarb

Katherine Russell

 

Sarah Wheeler

 
 

Graduate students in INSCT’s Law 822 Research Center (Foreign Terrorist Fighters (FTF) and Countering Violent Extremism) discuss their findings with Director of Research Corri Zoli and Army War College Fellow LTC Michael McFadden. This project is a collaboration with the United Nations Counterterrorism Executive Directorate (CTED) and its Senior Legal Officer David Scharia.

The initial project focused on UN-level policies to counter FTF, most notable SCR 2178, which calls on the international community to stop the creation and movement of FTF and to counter the rhetoric and tactics that foster violent extremism within their borders.

  • 

Brittani Howell (SU Law)—Outlier states (Belgium, Indonesia) that contribute disproportionately low or high FTF to the Middle East

  • Joe Gale (Maxwell School)—The misuses of counterterrorism laws by some states (Turkey, Russia, China) to silence dissent
  • Katherine Russell (Maxwell School)—Women as agents and counter-agents of violent extremism

  • Ethan Peterson (SU Law)—Innovations and challenges of UN counterterrorism and CVE policy

  • Aliya Williams (Maxwell School)—The Brussels and Paris attacks and terrorists’ use of weak EU security institutions

zoli_century_club_radical_islam-mwedit020917_page_01
Radical Islam and National Security Strategy: Toward a Better Definition of Contemporary Terrorism

By Corri Zoli, Director of Research, INSCT

Lecture slides for a presentation at The Century Club, Syracuse, NY | Feb. 7, 2017

zoli_vpaf103_lecture-mwedit110316_page_01Low-Tech Terrorism : Changing Patterns of Global Conflict & Response

By Corri Zoli, Director of Research, INSCT

Lecture slides for Victims of Pan Am Flight 103 (Lockerbie Air Disaster) Meeting
Syracuse University | Oct. 29, 2016.

zoli_murrow_journalists_presentation-mwedit110716US Presidential Elections: New Nationalism, Return to Realism, or Internationalism?

By Corri Zoli, Director of Research, INSCT

Presentation for the Edward R Murrow Program for Journalists, US Department of State Bureau of Education & Cultural Affairs
Syracuse University | Nov. 4, 2016


Related Projects—Law 822 (Research Center)

Collaborations with UN CTED Collaboration, Department of Homeland Security

2017

Under the guidance of INSCT Director William C. Banks and Director of Research Corri Zoli, students in the National Security and Counterterrorism Research Center, a working laboratory for law and other graduate students interested in contemporary security issues, worked on the following Countering Violent Extremist (CVE) projects:

  1. A multi-institutional partnership with Emory University, George Washington University, and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), to create recommendations for the DHS Secretary for Strategic Partnerships with Colleges and Universities and the K-12 Community with relation to CVE-related academic programs and research.
  2. A continuation of the collaboration with the UN Counterterrorism Executive Directorate (UN CTED) examining member states’ implementation of UN Security Council Resolution 2178 (2014) to examine the domestic implementation of UNSCR 2178 and challenges among member states; to explore and compare emerging CVE laws and policies; and to track Foreign Terrorist Fighter (FTF) flows and returnees.

Read Dr. Zoli’s Research Center syllabus for Spring 2017.

2016

UNCTED_Presentation_050216Under the guidance of INSCT Director William C. Banks and Director of Research Corri Zoli, students in the National Security and Counterterrorism Research Center, a working laboratory for law and other graduate students interested in contemporary security issues, presented research on how UN member states from various regions are complying with UN Security Council Resolution 2178 (2014), which calls on member states to prevent the “recruiting, organizing, transporting, or equipping of individuals who travel to a State other than their States of residence or nationality for the purpose of the perpetration, planning of, or participation in terrorist acts.” The presentation was made at SU Law to visiting representatives of the UN Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate (CTED), including David Scharia, UN CTED Senior Legal Officer. A follow-up report is under development.

UN_FTF_Presentation_Cover_FRONT

Banks, W., et al. Countering Foreign Terrorist Fighters: Criminal, Administrative, & Prosecutorial Strategies to Halt the International Flow of Terrorism. Institute for National Security and Counterterrorism/UN Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate Report, June 2016. 

To obtain a copy of this report, email Director of Research Corri Zoli.

2015

UN_PresentationStudents in the National Security and Counterterrorism Research Center created (for UN CTED) three interrelated reports that addressed UN member states’ criminal, administrative, and prosecutorial strategies to halt the international flow of terrorism, as well as states’ compliance with UN Security Council Resolution 2178 (2014). In March 2015, 18 students representing SU Maxwell School and SU Law presented the reports to the UN CTED at the UN headquarters in New York City.

UN_Presentation_Cover-mwedit080415_Page_1

Banks, W., et al. Countering Foreign Terrorist Fighters: Criminal, Administrative, & Prosecutorial Strategies to Halt the International Flow of Terrorism. Institute for National Security and Counterterrorism/UN Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate Report, August 2015. 

To obtain a copy of this report, email Director of Research Corri Zoli.


Contact Contact
Corri Zoli, Director of Research
cbzoli@syr.edu | 315.443.4523