This event marks the launch of RUSI’s Far-Right Extremism and Terrorism (FRET) research programme, led by RUSI’s Terrorism and Conflict Research Group based in London and Nairobi, the Centre for Financial Crime and Security Studies, and the Cyber Research Group. It will highlight the existing state of research on the transnational nature of FRET and herald the start of research contributions that RUSI aims to make through this new research programme.
Despite the emphasis that far-right groups and movements place on nationalism and local roots, these networks are increasingly forging transnational links. In the last decade, we have observed multiple examples of attacks serving as a galvanising force for similar hits in other parts of the world. Enabled by the internet as well as easier and more frequent physical and financial interactions, the global logistical and ideological links between such groups have grown stronger, thereby changing the nature of the threat.
The globalisation of attacks and extremist and terrorist groups indicates the need to look at the threat through a transnational lens in order to develop more effective responses. This, in turn, would enable the design of preventing and countering violent extremism programming, counterterrorist financing approaches and possible ways to limit the spread of hate by tackling far-right threats earlier and more effectively.
Introduction and Welcome
Session One: Global Connections
This session will discuss FRET in regions beyond Western Europe and North America, which traditionally attract the majority of scholarship in this area. It will highlight individual case studies from the global far-right landscape.
Session Two: Online Connections
This session will focus on transnational interactions between far-right individuals and communities online, via mainstream and non-mainstream social media, messaging apps and online gaming.
Session Three: Physical and Ideological Connections
In this session we will discuss the transnational physical/offline interactions that take place between individuals and groups within the far-right spectrum. Among others, this includes the formation of transnational communities through paramilitary training, as well as exchanges through music festivals and the mixed martial arts scene.
Session Four: Financial Connections
This session will address the on/offline fundraising strategies and international financial links of the far right. We will discuss the role financing plays in far-right activities globally and assess how these trends compare to the financing of transnational jihadist groups.
RUSI FRET representatives will draw up lessons from the conference and highlight areas where FRET research aims to fill some of the remaining gaps.