Transnational Terrorism: Defeating the Threat

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Mumbai BombingsThis event included keynote addresses by the Rt. Hon. Margaret Beckett MP, Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, and H E Sheikh Hamad Bin Jassim Al-Thani, Foreign Minister of the State of Qatar.

In the five years since 9/11 the world has seen the threat posed by transnational terrorism multiply exponentially.  Al-Qaeda has mutated from an organization to an ideology that has spread throughout the Islamic world and beyond, in the process becoming ever more resilient to attempts to defeat it.

Countering the threat demands a new and unprecedented level of transnational co-operation to disrupt (and ultimately defeat) the terrorist networks, to dismantle the financial support mechanisms they depend upon, and to limit their ability to wreak mass destruction.  At the same time, the threat must be tackled locally, at the source where it arises.

Everyone is in agreement that the ‘swamp’ from which terrorists recruit and gain their support must be ‘drained’.  Whilst there is no single cause or motivation common to this new terrorism it is clear that political exclusion, economic alienation, and social dislocation in the Islamic world can combine to create a fertile breeding ground for extremism.  Addressing these issues by embracing economic diversification and international trade, boosting political and social inclusion, and creating a liberal national outlook by supporting a free media, can diminish the threat faced.

To successfully defeat transnational terrorism action is required at both these levels – tackling symptoms as well as underlying causes.  Our conference Transnational Terrorism: Defeating the Threat, organized with the full support of the State of Qatar, brought together top officials and experts with their counterparts in the UK to explore these issues.

Conference sessions included:

  • International Cooperation to Combat the Terror Threat
  • Winning the Long : Social and Economic Inclusion
  • The Counter-Terrorist Response: Building Local Capacity
  • Transnational Problems: Transnational Solutions
  • Media Broadcasting: Encouraging Open Thought
  • The Middle East in an Age of Globalisation: States, Revolt and Culture

Conference speakers included:

  • Rt Hon Margaret Beckett MP, UK Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs
  • H E Sheikh Hamad Bin Jassim Bin Jabr Al-Thani, Foreign Minister of the State of Qatar
  • H E Yousef Bin Hussain Kamal, Minister of Finance & Acting Minister of Economy and Commerce, State of Qatar (Invited)
  • Dr Adel Abdellatif, Regional Coordinator, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) on Governance in the Arab Region (POGAR)
  • Dr Rhiannon Talbot, Newcastle University
  • David Handley CMG, Director of Group Strategic Analysis, BAE Systems
  • Professor Barry Kellman, Special Advisor to the Interpol Program on Prevention of Bio-Crimes, & Director of the International Weapons Control Centre at the DePaul University College of Law.
  • Professor S Abdallah Schleifer, Washington Bureau Chief for Al Arabiya Satellite News Channel & Emeritus Professor, Journalism and Mass Communication at the Adham Center for Electronic Journalism at the American University in Cairo (AUC)
  • Robert Whalley CB MA, Former Director of Counter Terrorism and Intelligence at the UK Home Office
  • Mr Yosri Fouda, London Bureau Chief, Al-Jazeera Satellite Channel

    Transnational Terrorism Project

  • Professor Fred Halliday, Professor of International Relations, London School of Economics and Political Science: University of London

Launched in May 2005, the RUSI Transnational Terrorism Project has established a highly successful dialogue on terrorism with a number of key Middle Eastern and Asian governments.  The project has undertaken a series of closed seminars that bring together selected academics and nominated officials from our partner countries to discuss in depth a number of related themes.


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