Research Papers

ICCT Research Papers series includes the Centre’s academic research papers that offer in-depth research on a topic, theme or issue related to counter-terrorism. All publications have been peer-reviewed by ICCT’s Editorial Board and reflect the high standards of the Centre that focus on original and independent research and analysis.

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Policy Briefs

ICCT Policy Briefs series reflects one of the core tasks of the Centre, namely exchanging knowledge and experiences with policymakers. Within these series, the aim is to provide a general overview of a certain topic, offering background information and policy recommendations. All Policy Briefs have been peer-reviewed by the Editorial Board prior to publication.

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ICCT Reports offer reflections of Meetings, Events and Projects. Reports offer the possibility of looking into ICCT meetings and events, and/or full reports on research and projects.

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ICCT Perspectives are Commentaries and Op-Eds, mainly written by Research Fellows. Perspectives respond to or analyse timely topics. The aim is to offer background and a deeper understanding for a wide public. Perspectives are the author’s own views.

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Perspective Briefs | 18 Jan 2021
The caliphate’s legacy and fringe extremists

The terror threat of jihadism is as high as ever in Europe. Here, Thomas Renard highlights why European authorities need to remain vigilant throughout 2021.

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Perspective | 11 Jan 2021
Staying in an area controlled by a terrorist organisation: crime or operational necessity?

In this perspective, the authors discuss the reprecussions of the criminalisation of staying in an area controlled by a terrorist organisation.

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Perspective | 11 Jan 2021
An attack on the Capitol and democracy: an act of terrorism?

A close examination of the recent events that took place in Washington DC. The storming of the US Capitol on 6th January is discussed in through a legal perspective.

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Policy Brief | 2 Sep 2020
Re-Offending by Released Terrorist Prisoners: Separating Hype from Reality

This Policy Brief critically analyses terrorist re-offending in a wide range of international contexts, to inform the wider discussion on terrorist recidivism and rehabilitation.

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Perspective | 27 Aug 2020
The long and winding road to bringing the ISIS ‘Beatles’ to justice

With new developments in the case of the foreign terrorist fighters who have been dubbed 'The Beatles', this Perspective assesses where the 'Beatles' can be brought to justice and the main legal challenges in this process.

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Perspective | 17 Jul 2020
Shamima Begum, citizenship revocation and the question of due process

This Perspective by ICCT's Julie Coleman and Joana Cook delves into the latest court ruling for Shamima Begum, and the balance between national security and the rule of law.

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Policy Brief | 2 Jun 2020
Kosovo’s Experience in Repatriating Former Foreign Fighters

This policy brief examines Kosovo’s response to former foreign fighters and lessons EU member states can learn in handling this complex issue.

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Perspective | 24 Apr 2020
The Russian Imperial Movement (RIM) and its Links to the Transnational White Supremacist Extremist Movement

The Russian Imperial Movement marks the first time the US State Department has designated a white supremacist extremist organisation as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist (SDGT) entity.

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Perspective | 7 Nov 2019
European countries are being challenged in court to repatriate their foreign fighters and families

In the Perspective, Tanya Mehra critically analyses the European approach to repatriating foreign fighters.

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Report | 1 Nov 2019
Terrorism in the Age of Tech

In this Report for Clingendael's Global Security Pulse, Reinier Bergema maps out emerging trends and threats in the age of technology.

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Perspective | 26 Aug 2019
The Caliphate’s Women and Children—What Role can the Family Courts play? (Part 2)

In the Part 2, Dr. Rumyana van Ark focuses on such decision in the context of children who were en route to Syria before they and their parents were prevented from travelling further.

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Perspective | 7 Aug 2019
The Caliphate’s Women and Children – What Role can the Family Courts play? (Part 1)

In Part 1, of a two-part series, Dr. Rumyana van Ark (née Grozdanova) evaluates the role that family courts can play in de-radicalisation efforts through an analysis of the case of B, a sixteen year-old girl who attempted to leave the UK for Syria in 2014.

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Perspective | 18 Apr 2019
Germany and its Returning Foreign Terrorist Fighters: New Loss of Citizenship Law and the Broader German Repatriation Landscape

In this perspective, Kilian Roithmaier offers his thoughts on the recent agreement of the German Federal Government to introduce the statutory forfeiture of citizenship for German Foreign Terrorist Fighters and on the broader German repatriation landscape.

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Perspective | 10 Apr 2019
The Need to Maintain Control over Militant Jihadists

In this Perspective, ICCT Director Renske van der Veer and Edwin Bakker discuss the Dutch approach in counter-terrorism when dealing with returning foreign terrorist fighters.

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Perspective | 11 Mar 2019
British Citizenship Revoked, Bangladeshi Citizenship Uncertain – What Next for Shamima Begum?

In this perspective Dr. Rumyana van Ark discusses the revocation of Shamima Begum's nationality by the UK government and her prospects of appeal. More generally, she reflects on issues regarding statelessness and deprivation of nationality as a counter-terrorism measure.

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Perspective | 6 Mar 2019
The Repatriation of Foreign Fighters and Their Families: Options, Obligations, Morality and Long-Term Thinking

In this Perspective, Tanya Mehra and Christophe Paulussen discuss the issue of (possible) repatriation of foreign fighters and their families, especially from Syria. They address several policy options by taking into account legal, moral and (long-term) security perspectives.

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Policy Brief | 27 Feb 2019
Violence and Terrorism from the Far-Right: Policy Options to Counter an Elusive Threat

Using Germany as a main case study, Daniel Koehler argues that far-right violence has a potential risk of being misunderstood and under-classified as a form of political violence and terrorism. He also offers several recommendations on how to avoid this potentially resulting in an elusive threat.

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Perspective | 21 Feb 2019
The Foreign Terrorist Fighter Repatriation Challenge: The View from Canada

Phil Gurski offers his thoughts on the issue of returning foreign fighters by discussing the different challenges countries are facing, taking a closer look at the situation in Canada.

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Perspective | 17 Oct 2018
Countering Terrorism Through the Stripping of Citizenship: Ineffective and Counterproductive

Citizenship stripping is being used in Western Countries with increasing frequency. In this perspective, Dr. Christophe Paulussen explores why citizenship stripping is ineffective and counter-productive, and suggests academics, practitioners and policy makers engage more effectively to fully understand the complexity of the issue.

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Perspective | 12 Jun 2018
Bringing (Foreign) Terrorist Fighters to Justice in a Post-ISIS Landscape Part III: Collecting Evidence from Conflict Situations

In this third, and final installment to her trilogy of Op-eds, Tanya Mehra emphasizes the importance of carefully collecting all relevant information and evidence from (post) conflict situations. Where investigators and prosecutors are unable to collect evidence from battlefields, any information that the military, NGO's and international mechanisms established by the Security Council collect, could be used as evidence in court.

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Policy Brief | 2 May 2018
Capacity-Building Challenges: Identifying Progress and Remaining Gaps in Dealing with Foreign (Terrorist) Fighters

In this Policy Brief, Walle Bos, Dr. Bibi van Ginkel and Tanya Mehra address capacity-building challenges in relation to the implementation of good practices in dealing with (returning) Foreign (Terrorist) Fighters.

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Research Paper | 10 Apr 2018
Cut From the Same Cloth? Lone Actor Terrorists Versus Common Homicide Offenders

In this Research Paper, Marieke Liem et al. provide a bivariate analysis of lone actor terrorists and common homicide offenders. Liem et al's findings problematise the classification of lone actors as an entity fundamentally different from the sample of single homicide offenders and call for future in-depth assessments of possible differences in homicidal drive.

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Research Paper | 30 Jan 2018
Prosecuting (Potential) Foreign Fighters: Legislative and Practical Challenges

In this Research Paper Christophe Paulussen and Kate Pitcher provide a critical assessment of the underlying legal frameworks and the concrete prosecutions of (potential) foreign fighters at the national level. The authors argue that magistrates and prosecutors should have a greater role in assessing whether actual prosecution or adjudication is appropriate in specific cases.

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Perspective | 12 Jan 2018
Bringing (Foreign) Terrorist Fighters to Justice in a Post-ISIS Landscape Part II: Prosecution by Foreign National Courts

In this second installation of her trilogy of op-eds, Tanya Mehra LL.M explores how terrorist fighters can be prosecuted by foreign national courts. In this piece, Mehra analyses active nationality principle, passive nationality principle, territoriality principle and universal jurisdiction in the context of Syria and Iraq.

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Perspective | 22 Dec 2017
Bringing (Foreign) Terrorist Fighters to Justice in a Post-ISIS Landscape Part I: Prosecution by Iraqi and Syrian Courts

In this Perspective, Tanya Mehra LL.M explores how foreign terrorist fighters can be brought to justice in the post-conflict landscapes of Iraq and Syria.

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Perspective | 10 May 2016
Countering Violent Extremism in the Kurdistan Region in Iraq

Now that the Islamic State appears to be losing ground, and the most imminent threat for the Kurdistan Region in Iraq seems to be over, the time has come for the Kurdistan Regional Government to develop a plan to counter violent extremism.

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Perspective | 18 Sep 2013
Setting the Record Straight: Reversing the Burden of Proof Back to Normal in EU Terrorist Listing Cases

The Court of Justice of the EU made its final judgement in the case of Mr. Kadi: what does this mean for the burden of proof in placing individuals on sanctions list and for the implementation of the UN sanctions list?

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Research Paper | 23 Aug 2013
The Anders Behring Breivik Trial: Performing Justice, Defending Democracy

This Research Paper examines to what extent the Breivik trial attained the goals of criminal justice and also aims to determine if the trial contributed to the need for closure in society.

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Perspective | 19 Dec 2012
A Long Journey to Justice: El-Masri and the First Case against the Practice of Extra-ordinary Renditions

The first judgement against a state (Macedonia) for its involvement in the CIA's extra-ordinary rendition programme was handed down earlier this week. Dr. Bibi van Ginkel analyses the implications of the ECHR judgement.

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Perspective | 20 Nov 2012
The Real Risk of Torture Testimony in Terror Trials: The Case of Abu Qatada

Last week's decision against the extradition of Muslim cleric Abu Qatada in the UK was a controversial one. What does the case mean for evidence obtained by torture, human rights, extradition and anticipatory justice?

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Perspective | 12 Sep 2012
The 22nd of July Trial Reaches its Final Stage

What is the impact of the final verdict in the Anders Behring Breivik trial? How does it affect the coping mechanisms in society and are the goals of criminal justice achieved?

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Perspective | 26 Jul 2012
Al Qaeda Plot in Europe? Intelligence as Evidence in the Düsseldorf Terror Cell Trial

This Commentary discusses the trial against four terror suspects of the so-called Düsseldorf terror cell.

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Research Paper | 21 Jun 2012
Through the Militant Lens: The Power of Ideology and Narratives

This Research Paper explores violent extremist “narratives” within the Indonesian context by interviewing a convicted terrorist and one currently undergoing trial.

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Perspective | 23 Apr 2012
The Anti-Islamist: Anders Behring Breivik’s Manifesto

In this Commentary, 2012 Visiting Research Fellow Dr. Arun Kundnani analyses Breivik's ideology as contained in his 1,500-page manifesto, 2083 – A European Declaration of Independence.

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Perspective | 18 Apr 2012
Anders Breivik: A Terrorist on Trial

This Commentary analyses the trial against Anders Behring Breivik, the Norwegian violent extremist who carried out bomb and gun attacks that left 77 people dead last year.

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Research Paper | 2 Apr 2012
Impunity for International Terrorists? Key Legal Questions and Practical Considerations

This Research Paper discusses several of the key questions related to the subject of impunity of international terrorists, taking both a fundamental and a more practical approach within the context of international law.

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Perspective | 16 Mar 2012
The US NDAA and its Controversial Counter-Terrorism Provisions

This Commentary reviews Sections 1021 and 1022 of the "National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012" (NDAA 2012) – probably the act’s most controversial counter-terrorism provisions.

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Perspective | 28 Jul 2011
A Fair and Public Trial for the Norwegian Terror Suspect

The trial of Anders Behring Breivik posed many questions, one of them being if the hearings should be in public or behind closed doors.

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Uncategorized | 15 Mar 2011
Terrorists on Trial: A Performative Perspective

On 30 March 2011, ICCT hosted an Expert Meeting applied a performative perspective to three well known and recent trials in different parts of the world.

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Research Paper | 2 Mar 2011
Compatible or Incompatible? Intelligence and Human Rights in Terrorist Trials

This Research Paper focuses on the special procedures of Canada, France, the Netherlands and the UK for the use of intelligence in terrorism-related court cases.

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Perspective | 24 Jan 2011
Kadi-Judgement Revisited: Shaken, not Stirred

In this Commentary, Dr. Bibi van Ginkel analyses the proceedings of the Kadi trial and the impact of the most recent ruling.

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Perspective | 9 Aug 2010
Terrorists and the Rule of Law: Member of Hofstad Group Expresses Faith in Dutch Judicial System

This Commentary analyses the recent announcement of a convicted member of the Dutch jihadist Hofstad group, who stated that he from now on accepts the judicial system and is certain that he will receive a fair trial.

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Perspective | 19 Jul 2010
Will the Appointment of an Ombudsperson Improve the Due Process Standards of the Heavily Criticised UN Terrorist Listing and De-listing Procedure?

This Commentary analyses whether the appointment of an ombudsperson pursuant to Security Council Resolution 1904 will in fact improve the due process standards of the UN terrorist listing and de-listing procedure.

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Research Paper | 2 Mar 2010
Use of Diplomatic Assurances in Terrorism-related Cases: In search of a Balance between Security Concerns and Human Rights

Dr. Bibi van Ginkel and Federico Rojas analyse the different policies on diplomatic assurances in countries that are representative of a trend and clarify the criteria that have to be fulfilled before assurance may be used.

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