Extremism

ISD combines sector-leading digital analysis capabilities with rigorous research to track, measure and analyse extremism.

Extremism is the advocacy of a system of belief that claims the superiority and dominance of one identity-based ‘in-group’ over all ‘out-groups.’ It advances a dehumanising ‘othering’ mind-set incompatible with pluralism and universal human rights.

Using our digital analytics tools and ethnographic research capabilities, our analysts monitor and assess the scale and threat of Islamist extremism, far-right extremism, left-wing extremism and ethno-nationalism online.

ISD combines digital analysis with policy advisory support and training to governments and cities facing extremist threats. We educate young people to build resilience to violent extremism, analyse the consequences of mainstreamed extremist ideologies, and assist with rehabilitating and former extremists.

We develop education resources to explicitly address extremism online, and collaborate with networks of community influencers, city and government officials and the tech sector. Together, we can better counter the radicalisation and recruitment strategies of those advocating extremism and hate.

Our research team’s language capabilities allow us to monitor channels in English, French, Arabic, German, Italian, Spanish, Swedish and Polish. We brief and advise an international range of policy makers, including government, security and intelligence agencies.

 

Latest Extremism Publications

See all ISD Publications

ISD’s Extremism Analysis team

Rashad Ali
Read Bio
Rashad Ali

Resident Senior Fellow

×
Rashad Ali
Rashad Ali

Resident Senior Fellow

Rashad Ali is a Resident Senior Fellow at ISD. Rashad is a counter terrorism practitioner who works on deradicalisation initiatives alongside Prisons, Probation Services, Police and community groups. He was formerly a national leadership member of Hizb ut-Tahrir, the revolutionary Islamist organisation and has been actively involved in undermining its extreme ideology and perversion of Muslim faith since his departure. As a researcher he has given testimony and contributed submissions to the Home Affairs Select Committee on Radicalisation, the Parliamentary Select Committee on Intelligence and has briefed the London Mayor's office on Counter Terrorism and has been consulted by think tanks and governments in Germany, Denmark, the EU and the US. He is an external lecturer for Derby University’s Master Class courses on Radicalisation and Counter Terrorism. He has written for The Observer, The Guardian, The Telegraph, The Independent, The Times, Dissent Magazine, Birlingske in Denmark, Conservative Home, and given commentary for Newsnight, BBC News. He is the author of Islam, Shariah and the Far Right published by Demoqratiya journal, A Guide to Refuting Jihadism published by HJS and EFD, and the author of the ISD report Blasphemy, Charlie Hebdo, and the Freedom of Belief and Expression. He is classically trained in Islamic theology and jurisprudence and Modern studies in Islam. He studied at al-Azhar University, Cairo, and the Markfield Institute.
Zahed Amanullah
Read Bio
Zahed Amanullah

Resident Senior Fellow, Networks & Outreach

×
Zahed Amanullah
Zahed Amanullah

Resident Senior Fellow, Networks & Outreach

Zahed Amanullah is a Resident Senior Fellow at ISD, leading on ISD’s civil society engagement, communications, and partnerships, coordinating the public and private sectors with activists, frontline workers, and relevant civil society networks. He has worked closely with Google.org to support British and European civil society organisations through the Innovation Fund, the Shared Endeavour Fund, and the Google Impact Challenge on Safety. He has given testimony to the UK and European parliaments and has been featured at the BBC, NPR, Channel 4, Sky News, the Guardian, CNN International, The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Le Monde Diplomatique, and Newsweek, among others. He has co-authored the ISD reports The Impact of Counternarratives, Between Two Extremes: Responding to Islamist and tribalist messaging online in Kenya during the 2017 elections, and The Innovation Fund to Counter Hate and Extremism in the UK. He holds a BS from the University of California, Berkeley and a Diploma in Management from the University of Bath.
Milo Comerford
Read Bio
Milo Comerford

Head of Policy & Research, Counter-Extremism

×
Milo Comerford
Milo Comerford

Head of Policy & Research, Counter-Extremism

Milo Comerford is Head of Policy & Research, Counter Extremism, leading ISD’s work developing innovative research approaches and policy responses to extremism. Milo regularly briefs senior decision makers around the world on the challenge posed by extremist ideologies, and advises governments and international agencies on building effective strategies for countering extremism. He was previously Senior Analyst at the Tony Blair Institute for Global Change, where he led major research projects on Salafi-jihadi propaganda, international educational responses to extremism, and the transnational far right. His writing and research features frequently in international media and he has made recent broadcast appearances on BBC News, Sky News and Al Jazeera.
Jacob Davey
Read Bio
Jacob Davey

Head of Research & Policy, Far-right and Hate Movements

×
Jacob Davey
Jacob Davey

Head of Research & Policy, Far-right and Hate Movements

Jacob Davey is Head of Research & Policy for Far-right and Hate Movements at ISD. Jacob has managed projects focusing on online hate speech, the international far-right and political violence. He has led a number of projects piloting novel models for identifying extremist conversation and hate speech online, including analysis tracking hate groups in the UK, USA, Canada and Australia, and is currently leading a major programme of work mitigating hate threats in the US. He has advised national and local policymakers on right-wing extremism, including the Home Affairs Select Committee and the Intelligence and Security Committee of Parliament. Jacob has managed and co-authored numerous ISD reports including Between Conspiracy and Extremism: A Long COVID Threat?, ISD’s Gaming and Extremism Series, and A Safe Space to Hate: White Supremacist Mobilisation on Telegram.
Henry Tuck
Read Bio
Henry Tuck

Head of Digital Policy

×
Henry Tuck
Henry Tuck

Head of Digital Policy

Henry Tuck is the Head of Digital Policy at ISD, where he leads Advisory work on digital regulation and tech company responses to terrorism, extremism, hate and dis/misinformation online. Henry oversees ISD’s Digital Policy Lab (DPL) and engagement on key digital regulation proposals in Europe and Five Eyes countries, advises key governments, international organisations and major private sector tech companies, and collaborates with ISD’s Digital Analysis Unit to translate research into actionable digital policy recommendations. Having joined ISD in 2013, Henry has previously worked across a variety of ISD’s Analysis and Action programmes, including education, on- and offline counter-extremism interventions, and civil society networks. Henry holds a Masters in International Conflict Studies from Kings College London, and a BA in Philosophy, Politics and Economics from Durham University. 
Jakob Guhl
Read Bio
Jakob Guhl

Senior Manager, Policy & Research

×
Jakob Guhl
Jakob Guhl

Senior Manager, Policy & Research

Jakob Guhl is a Senior Manager, Policy & Research, at ISD, where he works within the Digital Research Unit and with ISD Germany. His research focuses on the far-right, Islamist extremism, hate speech, disinformation and conspiracy theories. Jakob is a frequent commentator on German radio and broadcast and has been invited to present his research on online hate to the German Ministry of the Justice and provided evidence to the German Minister of the Interior and the German Family Minister on how to strengthen prevention against right-wing extremism and antisemitism. His research has been featured in Die Zeit, The Guardian, DW, The Telegraph, CNN, Euronews, Coda Story, Vice, Politico, New Republic and Die Welt, among others. Additionally, he has published articles in the “Journal for Deradicalisation”, “Demokratie gegen Menschenfeindlichkeit”, Taz, Der Standard, New Statesman and GNET, and contributed to edited volumes about antisemitism on social media, conspiracy theories and the origins of contemporary political anger. He is the co-author of the ISD reports Researching the Evolving Online Ecosystem: Barriers, Methods and Future Challenges, Gen-Z & The Digital Salafi Ecosystem, Crisis and Loss of Control: German-Language Digital Extremism in the Context of the COVID-19 Pandemic, Hosting the ‘Holohoax’: A Snapshot of Holocaust Denial Across Social Media, A Safe Space to Hate: White Supremacist Mobilisation on Telegram and The Online Ecosystem of the German Far-Right. Jakob holds an MA in Terrorism, Security and Society from King’s College London.
Charlotte Moeyens
Read Bio
Charlotte Moeyens

Senior Manager, Networks & Civic Action

×
Charlotte Moeyens
Charlotte Moeyens

Senior Manager, Networks & Civic Action

Charlotte Moeyens is a Senior Manager, Networks & Civic Action, at ISD, sitting in the central Resources and Methods team to support with the collation and distribution of counter-extremism best practice, overseeing the development and international delivery of training modules, materials and resources for practitioners and civil society. She has supported the delivery of the Google.org Impact Challenge on Safety in Europe, Africa Online Safety Fund and Mayor of London’s Shared Endeavour Fund. Most recently, she is working with the McCain Institute to develop and build the capacity of a US Prevention and Intervention Practitioners Network. Charlotte also forms part of the Strong Cities Network's (SCN) Central Management Unit, and is co-author of the SCN's Multi-Agency Models for Preventing Violent Extremism: A Guidebook for Bangladesh, as well as ISD reports YouthCAN: The Many States of Activism and Women, Girls and Islamist Extremism.
Ciarán O’Connor
Read Bio
Ciarán O’Connor

Senior Analyst

×
Ciarán O’Connor
Ciarán O’Connor

Senior Analyst

Ciarán O’Connor is a Senior Analyst at ISD, working in the Research and Policy unit. Ciarán specialises in using open-source research to track and monitor disinformation and extremism online, with a particular focus on far-right activity and communication across open and closed networks and platforms. Ciarán is currently working on multiple ISD projects in analysing the intersection of misinformation and extremism with COVID-19 on social media. Ciarán previously worked as a journalist on the investigations team at Storyful, a social media news agency that specialises in the verification and analysis of amateur footage and misinformation online. He is the co-author of ISD reports The Boom Before the Ban: QAnon and Facebook and Disinformation briefing: Narratives around Black Lives Matter and voter fraud.
Helena Schwertheim
Read Bio
Helena Schwertheim

Senior Digital Policy and Research Manager, ISD Germany

×
Helena Schwertheim
Helena Schwertheim

Senior Digital Policy and Research Manager, ISD Germany

Helena Schwertheim is Senior Digital Policy and Research Manager at ISD Germany, where she leads the Digital Policy Lab (DPL), a new intergovernmental working group focused on policy responses to prevent and counter disinformation, hate speech and extremism. Helena also leads a team of analysts studying digital threats posed to democracy by disinformation, hate speech and extremism.  Previously, Helena managed digital policy and research projects at Democracy Reporting International. She also has experience working in risk and political analysis in international organizations and think tanks, including at the UN World Food Programme in Rome, and the think tank International IDEA in Stockholm.
Aoife Gallagher
Read Bio
Aoife Gallagher

Analyst

×
Aoife Gallagher
Aoife Gallagher

Analyst

Aoife Gallagher is an Analyst on ISD’s Digital Analysis Unit, focusing on the intersection between far-right extremism, disinformation and conspiracy theories and using a mixture of data analysis, open source intelligence and investigative techniques to understand the online ecosystem where these ideas flourish and spread. Previously, Aoife was a journalist with the online news agency, Storyful. She is co-author of the ISD reports The Genesis of a Conspiracy Theory and Profit and Protest: How Facebook is struggling to enforce limits on ads spreading hate, lies and scams about the Black Lives Matter protests. Aoife has completed an MA in Journalism.
Lea Gerster
Read Bio
Lea Gerster

Analyst

×
Lea Gerster
Lea Gerster

Analyst

Lea Gerster is an Analyst at ISD and ISD Germany. She works across a range of projects focused on the proliferation of extremist ideologies and disinformation in the English- and German-speaking part of the internet. Previously, Lea worked for two years in online extremism-related roles at TRD Policy and the Centre on Radicalisation and Terrorism. She also worked as an intern for the Swiss foreign office and as a volunteer at a Japanese tea farm. She is the co-author of the ISD report Crisis and Loss of Control: German-Language Digital Extremism in the Context of the COVID-19 Pandemic. She holds an MA War Studies from King’s College London and a BA in history, Japan studies, and political sciences.
Will Baldet
Read Bio
Will Baldet

Fellow

×
Will Baldet
Will Baldet

Fellow

Will Baldet MBE is a Fellow at ISD. He also serves as a Regional CVE Coordinator in the UK and a Senior Advisor to the UK Government’s ‘Prevent’ strategy. He has been a practitioner in Countering Violent Extremism since 2008, working in both policing and policy. In 2020 he received an MBE for his counter terrorism work as a Prevent Coordinator protecting communities in the UK. It was in this role that he has developed and managed projects to empower civil society responses to radicalisation with a particular focus on youth, women and education. Will has been a consultant for the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) and is a member of the EU-funded Radicalisation Awareness Network (RAN) Europe and has supported Governments with the development of their national CVE programmes, including the Netherlands, Malta and Kazakhstan. He appears regularly in the media, including BBC News, Channel 4 News, BBC Newsnight and Sky News and writes for several online media outlets. He is also a Policy & Practitioner Fellow at the Centre for the Analysis of the Radical Right (CARR).
Hadiya Masieh
Read Bio
Hadiya Masieh

Fellow

×
Hadiya Masieh
Hadiya Masieh

Fellow

Hadiya Masieh is an expert in the area of community cohesion, interfaith relations, counter extremism, and women’s involvement in extremism. She has been a counter extremism consultant for various Governments and NGOs in the US, Italy, the Netherlands, Austria, Norway, Denmark, and Spain. She has also worked with non-profit and commercial organisations including Google Jigsaw. She was appointed to the UK government’s “National Muslim Women’s Advisory Group” which advised senior government officials on theological development, community cohesion, and empowering women from ethnic minorities. Hadiya was one of the authors of the report “Radicalisation and violent extremism-focus on women: How women become radicalised and how to empower them to prevent Radicalisation”, which was produced the European Parliament committee on Women’s Rights and Gender equality. Hadiya was an ambassador for Women Without Borders promoting counter extremism narratives and facilitating discussions within conflict areas. She was appointed to the board of the internationally renowned and award winning peacekeeping organisation The Bereaved Families Forum based in Palestine and Israel, promoting their message of peace within conservative Jewish and Islamic Institutions in the UK. Hadiya was one of the first women to work on the UK channel programme where she has worked closely with scores of women affected by radical and extremist views. She has been interviewed by Radio 4, BBC World Service, BBC Asian Network, CNN, The Guardian, and Vogue Magazine. Hadiya has worked with ISD as a consultant since 2013 on the One to One programme.