On 8-10 December 2020, the IIJ convened the Second Online Expert Meeting on Countering Racially- or Ethnically- Motivated Terrorism (REMT) under the IIJ REMT initiative, which is being implemented with support from the Governments of the United States and the United Kingdom. (REMT is also referred to as Violent Right-Wing Extremism or RWT by the United Kingdom and European governments.) The main objective of the IIJ REMT initiative is to examine how criminal justice actors can most effectively tackle the REMT phenomenon, drawing from the extensive national experiences of governments in confronting these types of threats, both currently and historically.
This Second Online Expert Meeting brought together 40 practitioners and subject-matter experts, among them prosecutors, police officers, investigators, and policymakers, from 19 countries, including Australia, Belgium, Canada, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Lithuania, Malta, the Netherlands, Norway, Serbia, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, the United Kingdom, and the United States. They were joined by representatives of the Council of Europe (COE), Eurojust, Europol, the European Commission (EC), the European Union’s Radicalisation Awareness Network (RAN), the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), the University of Oslo Center for Research on Extremism (C-REX), and the United Nations Office of Counter-Terrorism (UNOCT).
Over the course of three sessions, the practitioners discussed a draft outline for the IIJ Criminal Justice Practitioner’s Guide for Addressing REMT (hereafter IIJ REMT Practitioner’s Guide), which the IIJ is developing under this initiative. They shared their insights into the unique nature of the threat, and their expertise in detecting, investigating, disrupting and prosecuting REMT cells, networks and lone actors. They identified concrete lessons learned, as well as gaps in states’ capacity to address REMT threats with a range of tools, such as applying traditional policing strategies, proscribing and sanctioning violent groups, monitoring the online environment, coordinating between governmental agencies, engaging with community stakeholders, providing prison rehabilitation programmes, conducting post-release monitoring, and sharing information internationally.
The IIJ will incorporate input received during this week’s sessions into the IIJ REMT Practitioner’s Guide and will continue to advance the REMT initiative with a final Expert Meeting on Countering REMT in early 2021. We aim to finalise the IIJ REMT Practitioner’s Guide in the spring of 2021, and it will form the foundation for criminal justice practitioner capacity-building later in the year.