Understanding the shift from vocal extremists to terror offenders in the UK aims to identify the factors that catalyse or inhibit extremists shifting from vocal (non-violent) pre-offenders to violent post-offenders. It will improve the accuracy of risk forecasting and help identify new risk factors, as well as facilitate future research.
This project idea generated from preliminary results emerged from a research project conducted by Dr Elisa Orofino with Channel Panels across the UK between March and July 2021.
This research was supported by the Policing Institute for the Eastern Region (PIER) and led to relevant results showing important differences between the pre–offending and post-offending populations (e.g., age group, ideological affiliation) in the realm of terror and terror-related (TACT) offences:
This research also showed important differences in the ideological affiliation across different ages, the prominence of mental health issues in pre-offending population as well as self-harm in young individuals (mostly males aged 15-20). These differences suggest that people who are involved in Prevent de-radicalisation support programmes are a different population than the actual TACT offenders.
In order to shed light on what determines such important differences, Dr Orofino was successfully commissioned a research project by Accelerated Capability Environment (ACE)/Home Office, which consisted of two phases.
Building from the results of previous research at Channel Panels and using Busher and Holbrook and Macklin’s (2019) model identifying internal brakes preventing escalation from vocal (non-violent) to violent extremism (and terrorism), in phase 1 (April-July 2022), Dr Orofino and her research team scoped the relevant literature around the three main factors:
In phase 2 (October 2022 - January 2023), Dr Orofino aims to test the theory by collecting relevant data from both the Prevent and the Prison environment. To do so, Dr Orofino and research team aim to:
Academic Lead for Extremism and Counter-Terrorism