Hi there. In the previous video, we investigated the idea that we could recognize a terrorist by way of profiling. In this video, we will explore and analyze the assumption that terrorists can be deradicalized. In other words, we'll look into the idea that individuals change their attitudes and behavior and leave terrorism behind. Is that indeed possible, or is it just wishful thinking? What can we learn from past experience? What have scholars and experts said about this? Well, before we address these questions, we first have to define the term. What is deradicalization and what is meant by this term? Well, deradicalization, like most concepts, can have different meanings to different people. We will use the definition by John Horgan, who did a lot of research into radicalization and deradicalization. He refers to it as a 'social and psychological process, whereby an individual's commitment to and involvement in violent radicalization is reduced to the extent that they are no longer at risk of involvement and engagement in violent activity'. In addition to seeing it as a process, deradicalization can also be understood as a policy or a program for those who are already radicalized and which aims to help them to disengage from radical or extreme groups that they are involved in. Who has said that it is possible to deradicalize a terrorist? Well, according to Angel Rabasa, and his colleagues at RAND Washington, this is a simple fact that can be observed. In a report in 2013, they stated that 'just as there are processes through which an individual becomes an extremist, there are also processes through which an extremist comes to renounce violence, leave a group or movement, or even rejects a radical worldview'. Good examples of proof that it's possible are individuals who left terrorism behind and who are now involved in counter-radicalization and deradicalization projects. Now, within the field of terrorism studies, there are a number of them that are quite well-known. For instance, Daveed Gartenstein-Ross, who in the past worked for a charity that proved to be an Al-Qaeda fundraiser, and he was a well-known scholar in the field of terrorism and counterterrorism studies. Another example comes from Northern Ireland. Henry Robinson, who joined the Official Irish Republican Army in 1979. But in 1990, he was the Co-Founder of the foundation 'Families Against Intimidation and Terror'. Well, such examples of 'formers', or former terrorists, seem to support the idea that deradicalization is indeed possible. Well, why should we test this assumption? In recent years, there has been a lot of debate about the possibility of deradicalization. Particularly after terrorist incidents that involved people who were in such programs or who were allegedly deradicalized. Think of Usman Khan, who stabbed two people to death on the London Bridge in 2019. He and his victims were actually attending a conference on deradicalization. Such, incidents put further pressure on the need to investigate this. It is also relevant for countries with a large number of convicted terrorists in prison, and ideally, we would try to deradicalize them before they are released and reintegrated into society. If deradicalization does not work, however, we should be aware of this, as it could give us a false sense of security. In worst-case scenarios, it could lead to people re-engaging in terrorist attacks. Well, let's now look at what deradicalization entails. Some persons left terrorism behind more or less on their own. But increasingly, governments try to stimulate people to do so, by way of deradicalization programs. There are two main types of such programs. The first category focuses on individual, ideological deradicalization, using psychological or religious counseling to attain a change of mind, a change of attitude, and in the end, also a change in behavior. The second category aims for collective deradicalization of groups using, for instance, political negotiations, to obtain a type of change of behavior. It includes measures such as cease-fires or the decommissioning of arms. In Europe, there are many examples of deradicalization programs that are aimed at right-wing extremists, especially in Scandinavia, Germany, and also in the Netherlands. For instance in Norway, an exit-model was developed based on research conducted by Tore Bjørgo. His model consists of five phases, from motivation and disengagement, to making sure that these people are part of society again by way of settlement, reflection and stabilization. Well, also on the other side of the globe, in Indonesia, there are quite a number of deradicalization programs and these programs are mainly aimed at imprisoned Jihadi terrorists, who now closely cooperate with the authorities. Also in Saudi Arabia, such programs aim mainly at prisoners and they focus on rehabilitation through religious re-education and psychological counseling. In Colombia, they tried to disengage, not only prisoners, but also active members of the FARC, a left-wing terrorist organization. The Colombian judiciary try to facilitate this by suspending trials in an attempt to encourage and sustain their demobilization. So as you can hear in Colombia, the keyword is demobilization and not deradicalization. But the basic idea is to make sure that they leave terrorism behind and perhaps also change their attitudes and behavior. In Colombia, they also successfully deradicalize the FARC as a whole, to leave terrorism behind by way of negotiations. Well, in other words, there are many examples from around the world, each with a different scope, methods, and goals. Well, what do experts and academics have to say about deradicalization and such programs? About 10 years ago, quite a few scholars pointed at a lack of attention, expertise, and research into this field. Unfortunately, in recent years it has been an increase in the amount of studies and the amount of programs that has helped us to gain more insight into the challenges and the possibilities of deradicalization. These studies have also raised new questions. An important one is whether or not we can speak of deradicalization, when a person leaves a terrorist group behind, but not his or her radical ideas. And the prevailing opinion is that leaving terrorism behind does not necessarily mean that a person is also deradicalized. Many so-called deradicalization programs are in fact primarily aimed at disengagement and not at full deradicalization. What about the success of deradicalization programs? Do they work? Well, a survey of deradicalization programs conducted by the Institute for Strategic Dialogue, based on 30 case- studies from around the world, show that under certain conditions, programs can be effective, and the authors also listed a number of very interesting recommendations, such as that these programs are mostly affected when they are voluntary and that personal commitment is vital. More recently, Thomas Renard surveyed the literature on terrorism recidivism rates and he found that they are very low. He also studied over 500 Belgians convicted for Jihadi terrorism between 1990 and 2019, and he found a recidivism and re-engagement rate of below 5 percent. Well, it seems that in a number of countries, the overwhelming majority in deradicalization programs and terrorists released from prison, do seem to leave terrorism behind. Well, of course, the small percentage that does not leave terrorism behind, constitutes a problem, especially in countries with hundreds or even thousands of terrorists that fall into this category and even one can cause serious harm. Think again of the example of Usman Khan. In sum, when discussing deradicalization, it is important to distinguish it from disengagement. Especially as most of the deradicalization programs seem to aim primarily for the latter. We have seen an increase in both the number of programs and a number of studies into this field. These have shown that there are various examples of deradicalized individuals and that the recidivism rates are overall quite low and therefore, we regard the assumption that deradicalization is possible to be 'true'. However, it should also be mentioned that there are a number of cases where people in such programs return to violence. It must also be said that changing someone's actions might be easier than changing someone's mind. Perhaps the term disengagement is more accurate in this context. In the next video, we will investigate the idea that decapitation of terrorist organizations and terrorist groups works.