Extremist humor, Lawful Extremism, terrorist strategies, and more
Dr. John Horgan has a new book coming out that should be on the top of Christmas lists all over the counterterrorism/counterextremism field. Terrorist Minds: The Psychology of Violent Extremism from Al-Qaeda to the Far Right delves into the biggest questions in our field, the psychological hows and whys that shape people into terrorists. Much has been written on this topic before, including Horgan’s landmark The Psychology of Terrorism, but knowledge in this field is constantly evolving (and dare I say, improving), and there’s no one I trust more to walk both professionals and interested civilians through the latest evolution of our understanding.
For AVERT, I wrote a short explainer/introduction for my in-depth paper on Lawful Extremism, which can be read in its glorious entirety on the CTEC website. I also presented on the paper at the recent AVERT symposium, and video from that presentation can be seen below. (I posted this before, but the new version includes my slides).
An examination of the use of humor to promote far-right causes in Australia, where I guess far-right people might actually be funny instead of here in the U.S., where they emulate the cadences of humor without ever coming close to drawing a genuine laugh. Hat tip to CTEC colleague and author of Oath Keepers Sam Jackson for drawing my attention to this.
This piece usefully looks at fairly diverse terrorist organizations, and how they deal with strategic innvoation, including whether innovation correlates to escalating violence (spoiler alert: it doesn’t, necessarily).
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