24 November 2009

My Written Evidence before the Parliamentary 'Prevent' Inquiry

In around september 2009, the House of Commons Select Committee for Communities and Local Government was soliciting written evidence as part of its inquiry into the 'Preventing Violent Extremism' programme. I decided to offer my own written submissions for the inquiry. All the submissions have now gone up, including mine - the good news is they've put up effectively two versions of my filings.

My main submission is here:

http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200809/cmselect/cmcomloc/memo/previoex/uc1902.htm

This one is within the 3,000 word limit, and the theme deals primarily with the social factors behind violent radicalization, and offers a critique of the government's understanding and approach to this issue.

I also submitted an extended footnoted version of this, about 6,000 words long, which was filed as an appendix to the written submission by the conflict resolution charity, Forward Thinking. Somewhat unusually (and positively), the Committee not only published FT's submission, they also extracted my lengthier paper (originally titled something like 'Toward a Holistic Model of Violent Radicalization') from the appendix and published it as a separate 'supplementary memo'.

This longer version includes discussion of the more thorny and controversial security/intelligence issues that readers of this blog will be familiar with, including evidence of British intelligence cooptation of Islamist extremist networks like al-Muhajiroun etc. (this material was left out of the main submission due to word count issues)

So here's the longer version:
http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200809/cmselect/cmcomloc/memo/previoex/uc19a02.htm

We plan to develop a more detailed version of this paper as a report in due course.

6 November 2009

Our Terrorists, bigger and better version

New Internationalist have just put up an extended footnoted version of my piece on the post-Cold War Western sponsorship of al-Qaeda here. It's a bit meatier, and murkier.

2 November 2009

Our Terrorists - New Internationalist feature

Apologies for the delay in posting this - it's been online for a while, but haven't had a chance to post. Here's the link to the full online version of my New Internationalist piece "on the spooky complicity between Western intelligence agencies and Islamist extremism."

For those familiar with my work most of this material won't be new, but its presentation in this way is certainly a step forward, providing a concise summary of the 'deep politics' of the 'War on Terror' that covers quite a lot of ground and should provoke people into asking more probing questions about the drivers of contemporary security policies.

Opening below:


Islamic fundamentalist militants are the enemies of Israel and Western governments, right? Think again. Nafeez Mosaddeq Ahmed reports.

Once upon a time, the CIA trained, financed and supported Osama bin Laden and his mujahidin networks in Afghanistan to repel the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. After the end of the Cold War, bin Laden turned against the West and we no longer had any use for him. His persistent terrorist attacks against us for more than a decade, culminating in 9/11, provoked our own response, in the form of the ‘war on terror.’ This is the official narrative. And it’s false. Not only did Western intelligence services continue to foster Islamist extremist and terrorist groups connected to al-Qaeda after the Cold War; they continued to do so even after 9/11...

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