01 Feb 2019

Britain Needs to Reinvest in its Armed Forces

A fortnight ago HMS Argyll – one of the Royal Navy’s frigates – met up with USS McCampbell, an Arleigh Burke class destroyer from the United States Navy to undertake joint patrols and exercises in the South China Sea. This comes after the Royal Navy’s first Freedom of Navigation manoeuvre around the Paracel Islands on … Continued

25 Jan 2019

Extreme Speakers continue to plague campuses

On Monday 21st January, HJS’ centre for Student Rights released a report cataloguing events promoted to students in the last academic year with a link to extremism. The events featured speakers with a history of extreme or intolerant views, representatives of extremist groups, or fundraisers for extreme or terror-linked charities. The report uncovered that 200 … Continued

18 Jan 2019

Sales on the Darknet

The sales taking place on Darknet marketplaces deserve greater attention. To date, open source evidence of a direct link between weapons markets online and terrorism has been mostly anecdotal. A week after the attacks in Paris in November 2015, for example, it was reported that the four assault rifles used in the attack had been … Continued

11 Jan 2019

New allies? Global Britain and Global Japan

On Thursday, Shinzo Abe, the Prime Minister of Japan, visited the United Kingdom. Although the media’s attention was on the visit in the context of Brexit – not least given that the Japanese leader warned the world of the consequences of a “no-deal” Brexit – the two countries have been moving closer together for over … Continued

04 Jan 2019

The Complicated Nature of Terrorism and Mental Health

Determining when an act of violence is and isn’t terrorism has always been a contentious issue. The dispute has often been a highly politicised one. In the past, when Palestinian guerrillas would hijack a plane, or when members of Germany’s Red Army Faction conducted a hostage taking, there may have been those who argued that … Continued

21 Dec 2018

The Exploitation of Technological Innovation

Over the last few years, the British government has devoted greater attention to the presence of online extremism, especially following the five terror incidents that occurred in 2017 alone. This includes the ‘Darknet’ – portions of the internet that are not easily accessible by the public at large, without dedicated expertise. Like encryption, terrorists and … Continued

07 Dec 2018

We Have Warships, But Do We Have Enough?

The latest Channel 5 documentary – “Warship” – is an interesting foray into life on a Royal Navy destroyer, in this case HMS Duncan. This vessel, commissioned in 2013, is an impressive symbol of British naval power and maritime design. Its advanced radar, covering a large area around the vessel, can track up to 1000 … Continued

30 Nov 2018

Islamist Extremism on the Airwaves

This week, our latest report Extremism on the Airwaves, investigating Islamist abuse of broadcasting, was Smart Thinking’s most read report and led to widespread anger that more isn’t being done to stop this insidious problem. “It’s not just offensive, it’s an offence”, we are told by the recent Home Office campaign raising awareness of hate … Continued

26 Nov 2018

Uighurs in China

Consistency. It’s not an easy thing for liberal democratic states to keep in global geopolitics. During the Cold War, for example, the West often fortified itself with a number of proto-capitalist authoritarian powers around the world. Argentina, a US ally, lest anyone forget, was a military dictatorship until 1983; South Korea was one until 1987, … Continued

23 Nov 2018

To ban or not to ban; that is the question.

The news this week that the EU has provisionally agreed to screen foreign investments into its digital sector is an indication that worries about Chinese state-driven investment into the West’s digital infrastructures are growing. The fact that Germany is now thinking of following India, Australia, and the US in banning the Chinese electronics firms from … Continued

16 Nov 2018

Young People at Risk of Radicalisation

This quarter we have been focusing specifically on how radicalisation affects young people. Much work has gone into releasing public statistics on the number of referrals of young people at risk of radicalisation made to the Government. Yet, little information is available to date on the success of their reintegration and rehabilitation. Which begs two questions: … Continued

09 Nov 2018

Russian Paranoia

This week the Henry Jackson Society’s Russia and Eurasia Studies Centre released a new report entitled ‘Putin Sees and Hears It All: How Russia’s Intelligence Agencies Menace the UK’. Endorsed by Sir Richard Dearlove, former Director-General of SIS (MI6), the report draws attention to the scale of Russian espionage in the UK. You may have … Continued

02 Nov 2018

Terrorism in the West: The growing problem

This week I published a major study on terrorist attacks in Western countries over the past two years. The study was particularly concerned with tracking the different forms of extremist ideology that gave rise to these acts of violence. Particularly noticeable, has been the significant rise in far right terrorism in 2017 that the study … Continued

19 Oct 2018

Amazon and its dark association with UK extremist groups

Jeff Bezos, Amazon’s CEO, has been working hard on the company’s ‘optics’, painting it as a paragon of philanthropic virtue. That is purportedly what Amazon Smile is all about – giving customers the opportunity to give to charity whilst making a purchase. There is little doubt that the idea behind it could be anything but … Continued

12 Oct 2018

The Return of ISIS Fighters

Earlier this week, the Rt Hon Ben Wallace MP, Minister of State for Security at the Home Office, argued that terror laws need to be updated so foreign terrorist fighters returning from Islamic State can be brought to justice in the United Kingdom. 900 individuals from the UK travelled to engage with the conflict in … Continued

05 Oct 2018

Can “Global Britain” be realised in the long term?

So, political conference season is over, with the Conservative Party Conference  winding up earlier this week. The highlight of the season was surely Prime Minister Theresa May twerking on stage to the tune of ‘Dancing Queen’, as she tried to subdue her critics within her own party and beyond it. Brexit has certainly take up … Continued

28 Sep 2018

The dangers that face Freshers

The start of the university term has begun, and alongside the usual jubilance and revelry that characterises Freshers’ events, so too has the promotion of extremism permeated campus ‘Welcome Weeks’ across the UK. Predictably, SOAS has once again topped the list. Pinned to a tree, behind a society stall entitled ‘Fight Racism, Fight Imperialism’ lay … Continued

21 Sep 2018

Korea summit: The importance of human rights

The scene of South Korean leader Moon Jae-in and his wife being greeted by Kim Jong-un and his wife on the red carpet at Pyongyang International Airport earlier this morning was yet another reassuring sign that despite the seeming deadlock in US-North Korean negotiations, diplomacy is carrying on nevertheless. In a relationship nearly bereft of … Continued

14 Sep 2018

The EU must tread carefully: Victor Orban and the rise of autocracy

Extraordinary scenes played out in the European Parliament this week, as Hungarian President Victor Orban clashed with European officials in Strasbourg about his government’s increasing illiberalism. By Wednesday, the EU had dramatically voted in clear agreement to trigger the Article 7 process against Hungary – the second time this ‘nuclear option’ has been deployed against … Continued

07 Sep 2018

Global Britain and Big Lizzie

This week, HMS Queen Elizabeth – the pride of the Royal Navy – rocked up in Maryport, Florida, in the United States (US). “Big Lizzie” – as the tabloid press likes to call her – is visiting the US to receive her first Lightning II Joint Combat Aircraft and begin her first round of flight … Continued

31 Aug 2018

A harbinger of things to come: Didsbury Mosque and Imam Graf

Earlier this year a gentleman in the audience of BBC’s Question Time read out a leaflet he had been handed on an open day at Didsbury Mosque: “living in a society in which people have accepted Western lifestyle as their way of life brings immorality at every step. Modesty, shame and honour have no place … Continued

18 Aug 2018

Trojan Horse Revisionism

It is with much frustration that we saw the BBC publish a piece today downplaying the seriousness of the ‘Trojan Horse’ scandal. This was the inquiry into a plot by Islamist extremists in Birmingham to takeover several schools in the area, replacing secular teachers and governors, with those who wished to impose strict, intolerant Islamic … Continued

13 Jul 2018

Europeans have to be prepared to fight for their beliefs

While it’s easy to point to President Trump and criticise his gauche approach or roll one’s eyes at his lack of diplomatic finesse at this week’s NATO Summit, there was much to his complaint. As US defence spending accounts now for 73% of total NATO spending, the fact is he is not the first American to … Continued

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