2 Mar 2022Online

Experts warn that drop in Global Terrorism Index not indicative of real threat

event flyer

ISD’s CEO and co-founder Sasha Havlicek spoke about the “intersectional” threat landscape at the launch of the Global Terrorism Index 2022, organised by the Institute for Economics & Peace (IEP).

While the index indicated a drop in terrorist violence over the last year, Sasha echoed other speakers by describing it as an “artifical lull” due to COVID-19 travel restrictions.

Instead she cautions that extremism and hate have become more prevalent on social media platforms during this same period, citing a “massive and very widespread” mobilisation online, pointing to “longer term drivers of violence”.

“This crisis is being weaponised by extremists of all ilks to grow their audiences with notable success.”

The pandemic has seen “intersectionality” of conspiracy networks across the ideological spectrum, creating a “fundamentally hybridised threat landscape”.

Sasha called for greater governance by social media platforms to restrict extremist and hate content, describing the current digital environment as a “massive information crisis”, along with highlighting the importance of placing human rights “at the very centre” of government responses to security and counter-terrorism.

Other speakers included Steve Killelea, Founder and Executive Chairman of the Institute for Economics & Peace; Thomas Renard, Director of the International Centre for Counter-Terrorism; Ambassador Thomas Greminger, Director of the Geneva Centre for Security Policy and former Secretary General of the OSCE; and Mr Claudio Galzerano, Head of the European Counter-Terrorism Centre at EUROPOL.

Maram Anbar from CT Morse (RUSI, FPI) moderated the event.