SDSR Breakfast Briefing: Countering Terrorists and Non-State Actors

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SDSR 2015In the last of the RUSI SDSR 2015 Breakfast Briefings series, our panel will discuss CT policing and planning assumptions about the future, the blurred lines between foreign policy and domestic counter-extremism and the importance of financing for terrorist groups and non-state actors.

The briefing will be chaired by Professor Michael Clarke, Director-General of the Royal United Services Institute and the confirmed panellists are:

  • Deputy Assistant Commissioner Helen Ball, Senior National Coordinator Counter Terrorism, Metropolitan Police Service
  • Dr John Bew, Reader in History and Foreign Policy and Co-Director of the International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation and Political Violence, King's College London
  • Tom Keatinge, Director of the Centre for Financial Crime and Security Studies, Royal United Services Institute

DAC Ball will outline how the work of the police CT network has both increased in volume and changed in nature, repeatedly and significantly, over the past two years.  And both the increase and the changes are expected to continue. DAC Ball will discuss the CT policing network's perspective on this change, consider police planning assumptions about the future and assess where CT policing efforts need to be focused to gain the best possible public safety.

The impact of the ISIS threat and recent developments domestically has further blurred the lines between foreign policy and domestic counter-extremism. Dr John Bew will argue that we should be less ‘solutions obsessed’ when approaching the convergence of foreign policy and terrorism and that a more considered policy is to be found somewhere between a swift solution and the fatalism which sets in when that solution is not immediately found.

Tom Keatinge will discuss how the rapid spread of ISIS has brought into sharp relief the importance of financing for terrorist groups and non-state actors.  This is not a new phenomenon.  Immediately following 9/11, President George W Bush in the 'War on Terror' against al-Qaeda, launched a strike on the financial foundations of the global terror network.  Further back, the IRA created an impressive financing model.  The focus on counter-terror finance since 9/11 has been relentless, but terrorist groups and non-state actors continue to proliferate, even when clearly identifiable sources of financing, such as charcoal exports for al-Shabaab, exist.  The UK plays a leading role in managing the global counter-terror finance architecture through the United Nations and the Financial Action Task Force, but how effective are these efforts and how well coordinated is the UK's own response to terrorist financing?  The apparent proliferation of terrorist financing would suggest that reappraisal is required.

This event is open to all. To attend, please register online using the "Book your place" button above. If you have any queries please contact Sabrina Downey, Projects and Events Director, at

Tea, coffee and pastries served from 0800. The event commences at 0830.

Further information on RUSI’s SDSR 2015 series can be found at

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