Leaving Islamism: In Conversation with a former Al-Qaeda Recruiter

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Leaving Islamism: In Conversation with a former Al-Qaeda Recruiter

6th April 2021 @ 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm

Islamist extremism still continues to dominate the terror landscape. In the last decade we have seen the emergence of a number of new Islamist groups and a series of attacks perpetrated by terrorists acting both under the instruction of – and inspired by – Islamist terror groups.

Most recently, ISIS and its barbaric ideology has dominated the terror landscape in Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and in North America. Previous to that, Al-Qaeda was the most prominent Islamist group, directing and instructing its followers to commit attacks against the West.

The Islamist landscape is continually changing. Attack plots and arrests continue at pace, particularly within the UK and Europe. People continue to be radicalised by Islamist ideologies, despite the tireless work of countries to prevent their citizens’ involvement in terrorism and safeguard their vulnerability to radicalisation.

But how does an individual become vulnerable to Islamist ideologies? How might we better protect people from them? Where should the authorities proactively look to next, to predict and prevent future Islamist groups and ideologies from emerging?

The Henry Jackson Society is pleased to invite you to this timely and informative conversation, where we will be joined by Jesse Morton to discuss his radicalisation and subsequent involvement in Islamist extremism, Al-Qaeda and how he renounced his Islamist ideology.

This event will attempt to shine a light on Jesse’s experiences within Islamist extremism, so we can better understand, predict and prevent the radicalisation of more vulnerable people, in a world of ever fluctuating ideologies.


Jesse Morton was once an Islamist extremist and a prominent radicaliser in the West. Morton co-founded and was chief propagandist of Revolution Muslim, a New York City-based group active in the 2000s, where he helped insert the narrative of Al-Qaeda and Salafi-jihadist ideology into the American ambit. On renouncing his extremist ideology, Jesse founded Parallel Networks, an organisation combating hate and extremism. He is also a research coordinator for the Institute for Strategic Dialogue’s Against Violent Extremism Network in North America. He has lectured for various universities across the globe and has worked at George Washington University’s Program on Extremism, focused on issues such as jihadist propaganda. Morton was named one of Foreign Policy’s 2017 Global Thinkers.


Eilish O’Gara is an experienced counter-terrorism analyst, who has spent the last five years working in UK Counter Terrorism. Working across the country, she undertook analytical training from both the UK Cabinet Office and the FBI. She has extensive counter-terrorism research experience from both the private and public sector, leading on a variety of strategic thematic areas and in priority operations. She is a History graduate from Queen’s University in Belfast, having also studied Social Anthropology and Women’s History at the University of New South Wales, Australia. In addition, she holds a MA in Intelligence and International Security Studies from King’s College London, specialising in counter-radicalisation and British diplomacy studies. Previously, Eilish has worked across a wide range of sectors, including the media, political risk analysis, and freelance writing. Her expertise is in home-grown extremism, Islamist fundamentalism, and lone-actor terrorism.


You can RSVP your tickets HERE



6th April 2021
3:00 pm - 4:00 pm


United Kingdom


Henry Jackson Society
+44 (0) 20 7340 4520


Jesse Morton, Eilish O'Gara


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