For immediate release | Monday, March 23, 2020

CEP Webinar on April 1: Foreign Fighters and the Conflict in Ukraine

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Media at CEP

(Potsdam, Germany) – The Counter Extremism Project (CEP), in conjunction with the Brandenburg Institute for Society and Security (BIGS), will host a webinar on April 1, where new research into the phenomenon of foreign fighters in the war in Ukraine will be presented.  

Thousands of young men from Europe and North America fought in the post-2014 war in Ukraine, on both sides of the conflict. Unlike those who traveled to join ISIS in Syria and Iraq, most of these fighers from the extreme right or the extreme left eventually returned home. Dr. Kacper Rekawek, associate fellow at Bratislava, Slovakia-based think tank GLOBSEC, will present the results of his research into the lives of these individuals, based in part on many first-hand interviews. What does life look like for these foreign fighters when they return from the conflict zone? And how should our society deal with the potential risks posed by such individuals with combat experience? Dr. Rekawek’s presentation will fill an important research gap and enrich the understanding of the extremist foreign fighter phenomenon.

What: A Career Break Or a New Career? Extremist Foreign Fighters During and After the War in Ukraine.

When: Wednesday, April 1, 2020, 4:15 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. Central European Time (UTC/GMT +1 hour)

Speaker: Kacper Rekawek, PhD, is an associate fellow at GLOBSEC. Previously, Dr. Rekawek directed the internal security programme at GLOBSEC, served as a terrorism analyst at the Polish Institute of International Affairs, and was the Paul Wilkinson Memorial Fellow at the Handa Centre for the Study of Terrorism and Political Violence, University of St Andrews.

Registration: To register for the webinar, please send an email to [email protected] by March 30. A link will be sent back, enabling participation in the event.

Previous CEP-GLOBSEC research reports include: The Input: Pathways To Jihad, which probes the nexus of crime and terror, focusing on 310 individuals in 11 European countries arrested, expelled for terrorism offenses, or who died while staging terrorist attacks in 2015, the peak year of European jihadism. That study was followed by The Input: Pathways To Jihad, vol. 2, which examined the paths taken to global extremist jihad by 56 individuals from within the dataset of the first report who were convicted of the most serious terrorist offences. In a third report, (Few) Jihadis Without Jihad? Central Eastern Europeans and Their Lack Of Pathways To Global Jihad, researchers found that because of a lack of a local jihadi infrastructure, few aspiring jihadis in Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Hungary succeeded in their quest to travel to Syria and Iraq.