From 24-28 May 2021, NATO’s Centre of Excellence Defence Against Terrorism (COE-DAT) organized an online course on ‘NATO Crisis Management and Mitigation Against Terrorist Activities.’ The course served to bring together academics, researchers, practitioners, and planners to discuss methods and policies of crisis management from a terrorism perspective, and to identify gaps and develop recommendations for NATO and partner countries. Two of The Soufan Center’s fellows delivered lectures on the topic.
Stephanie Foggett, Resident Fellow at The Soufan Center, delivered a lecture on ‘Crisis Management and Terrorism: Narratives and Counter-Narratives.’ The lecture looked at three key international terrorism trends and crisis narratives prevalent within each: Salafi-jihadist inspired terrorism; far-right inspired terrorism and violent white supremacy; and conspiracy theories and disinformation. In her conclusion, Ms. Foggett noted that a global climate of upheaval and transition has ripened opportunities for violent actors to capitalize and expand their reach. And, unfortunately, their narratives have found added potency in times of crisis.
Susan Sim, Senior Research Fellow at The Soufan Center, delivered a lecture on ‘Developing National Counter-Terrorism Policy as a Crisis Management Tool.’ The lecture used Singapore as its case study and looked at how the country has been able to build a national counter-terrorism program “to sensitize, train and mobilize the community to play a part to prevent and deal with a terrorist attack.” Ms. Sim looked at how, when used as a crisis management tool, a well-thought-out national counter-terrorism policy prepares the public to survive an attack, and for society to bounce back stronger the day after.