CEP-EPC Policy Dialogue | Hiding in plain sight? Disguised compliance by terrorist offenders

Tuesday, Nov 09, 2021

On November 9, 2021, the Counter Extremism Project (CEP) and European Policy Centre (EPC) held an online policy dialogue and launch event of their joint publication entitled "Hiding in plain sight? Disguised compliance by terrorist offenders."

-Gaby Thijssen, Psychologist, High Security and Terrorist Unit, Vught Prison, Netherlands
-Ian Acheson, Senior Advisor, Counter Extremism Project
-Jim Gamble, Founding Chief Executive of the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre; CEO, INEQE Safeguarding Group
-Lucinda Creighton, Senior Europe Advisor, Counter Extremism Project 
-Olivier Onidi, Deputy Director-General for Migration and Home Affairs, European Commission
-Sir Mark Rowley, Former Head of the UK Counter Terrorism Policing and Distinguished Fellow, RUSI

Moderator: Amanda Paul, Senior Policy Analyst, European Policy Centre

The concept of ‘disguised compliance’ describes a process whereby a perpetrator deliberately manipulates the truth to disguise his or her true intent. Recent terrorist attacks, including the attack by Usman Khan on London Bridge in November 2019, strongly suggest that violent extremists are using this technique to conceal their motives either in custody or while on supervision in the community. The EPC-CEP Hiding in Plain Sight Discussion Paper looks at the challenges in detecting and countering deception and proposes a set of recommendations for frontline practitioners, governments and other actors across Europe and beyond who deal with risk management of extremists whether in prison or in the community. 

The publication incorporates the results of an EPC-CEP expert workshop that took place earlier in the year, which was also organised within the framework of the Disguised Compliance project launched by CEP and Staffordshire University.

Remote video URL

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Extremists: Their Words. Their Actions.


On August 13, 2017, suspected al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) gunmen opened fire on a Turkish restaurant and hotel in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso. 19 people were killed and 22 others were wounded.    

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