Syria update and new articles

The most recent Senate Estimates hearings have given us the latest official figures on Australians involved with jihadist groups in Syria and Iraq.

These are:

  • 120 Australians are currently fighting or are engaged with terrorist groups in Syria and Iraq.
  • At  least  32  and  potentially  up  to  42  Australians  are  believed to  have potentially  been  killed  in  the  conflict  to  date.
  • Approximately  30  Australians  have  returned  from  the  conflict.
  • About  170  people  in  Australia  are  providing  support  to  individuals  and  groups  in  the  Syria  and  Iraq  conflicts through  financing  and  recruitment,  or  are  seeking  to  travel.

(these are direct quotes, from page 121 of this transcript)

The figure of 120 currently over there has been static for months, as has the figure of 30 having returned. But the figure of up to 42 deaths is higher than previously reported. My own count based on public sources is only 27, and it includes a few doubtful ones. So there’s likely far more going on than we can see.

Meanwhile, I’ve had two new articles out. One is this Strategist Post on the Parramatta shooting and counter-terrorism in democracies. Since then, two of the suspects mentioned in it have been charged. The other is this Eureka Street article on the dangers of using schools to address extremism.

Resources: research on Countering Violent Extremism in Australia

Kevin Dunn, Rosalie Atie, Virginia Mapedzahama, Mehmet Ozalp and Adem F. Aydogan, The Resilience and Ordinariness of Australian Muslims: Attitudes and experiences of Muslims Report, Western Sydney University and Islamic Sciences and Research Academy Australia, November 2015.

Shandon Harris-Hogan, Kate Barrelle, and Andrew Zammit “What is countering violent extremism? Exploring CVE policy and practice in Australia“, Behavioral Sciences of Terrorism and Political Aggression, published online 5 November 2015 (gated).

Anne Aly and Kosta Lucas, “Countering Online Violent Extremism in Australia: Research and Preliminary Findings” in Countering Violent Extremism: Developing an Evidence-Base for Policy and Practice, Hedayah and Curtin University, September 2015, scroll to page 81.

Many authors, “Special Issue: Countering Violent Extremism: Reorienting the Field“, Journal of Policing, Intelligence and Counter Terrorism, Volume 10, Issue 1, 2015 (gated).

Andrew Zammit, Australian Foreign Fighters: Risks and Responses, Lowy Institute for International Policy, 16 April 2015.

Cat Barker, Australian Government Measures to Counter Violent Extremism: a Quick Guide, Australian Parliamentary Library, 10 February 2015.

Kevin Mark Dunn, Rosalie Atie, Michael Kennedy, Jan A. Ali, John O’Reilly and Lindsay Rogerson, “Can you use Community Policing for Counter Terrorism? Evidence from NSW, Australia“, Police Practice and Research: An International Journal, online version published 12 March 2015 (gated).

Kristina Murphy, Adrian Cherney, and Julie Barkworth, Avoiding Community Backlash in the Fight Against Terrorism: Research Report. Australian Research Council (Grant No. DP130100392) March 2015 (gated).

Michele Grossman, “Disenchantments: Counterterror Narratives and Conviviality,” Critical Studies on Terrorism, Volume 7, Issue 3, 2014 (gated).

Roslyn Richardson, Fighting Fire with Fire: Target Audience Responses to Online Anti-Violence Campaigns, Australian Strategic Policy Institute, 4 June 2014.

Shahram Akbarzadeh, “Investing in Mentoring and Educational Initiatives: The Limits of De-Radicalisation Programmes in Australia“, Journal of Muslim Minority Affairs, Volume 33, Issue 4, 2013.

Michele Grossman and Hussein Tahiri, Community and Radicalisation: An Examination of Perceptions, Ideas, Beliefs and Solutions Throughout Australia, Victoria Police with Victoria University, September 2013.

Robyn Broadbent, “Using Grass Roots Community Programs as an Anti-Extremism Strategy“, Australian Journal of Adult Learning, Volume 53, Issue 2, July 2013 (gated).

Anne Aly, “The Policy Response to Home-Grown Terrorism: Reconceptualising Prevent and Resilience as Collective Resistance“, Journal of Policing, Intelligence and Counter Terrorism, Volume 8, Issue 1, 2013.

Basia Spalek and Alia Imtoual, “Muslim Communities and Counter-Terror Responses: “Hard” Approaches to Community Engagement in the UK and Australia“, Journal of Muslim Minority Affairs, Volume 27, Issue 2, 2007 (gated).


Update 1: Added the Australian Journal of Adult Learning, Behavioral Sciences of Terrorism and Political Aggression and the Western Sydney University articles on 8 december 2015.