From Criminals to Terrorists and Back Quarterly Report: Great Britain & Ireland

Publication preview

This is the second of the series of ten national quarterly reports covering the tentative findings from study of 2015 terrorism arrestees, as part of GLOBSEC’s From Criminals to Terrorists and Back? Project. The report authors are John Morrison, Director of Terrorism and Extremism Research Centre at the at University of East London and Orla Lynch, Head of Criminology at the University College Cork.

Within Britain and Ireland there are two clear terrorist threats, namely violent dissident Irish republicanism (VDR) and jihadist terrorism. Both threats have very different patterns in relation to personnel and experience levels. Those involved in VDR-related activity are more likely to be part of a larger organisation than those involved in jihadist-related activity. They are also more likely to have criminality as a cornerstone of their organisational activity. This can include smuggling, non-political violence, and drug dealing. From the jihadi sample, this criminality is not as likely to play a dominant role.

It appears to date that the crime-terror nexus for 2015 does not seem to be as significant in Britain as may have been first imagined. However, as more data is collected, analysed, and audited, this and other findings may be subject to change. The sample collected to date does not fit with the dominant young male profile and includes female and older members from a variety of roles related to terrorist activity.