London Olympia
On 3 and 4 December, MINDb4ACT attended the International Security Expo (London) to detect the most relevant security challenges and look at the current priorities in preventing and countering violent extremism.

Today security experts deal with constantly evolving threats, making it though to respond rapidly and effectively. Events such as the International Security Expo in London (3-4 December 2019) make people remind of the importance of evolution in the security sector, presenting the latest efforts made by the public, civic and private sectors to assess risks, prevent crimes and proportionally respond to disasters. The European project MINDb4ACT took advantage of this occasion to look at current priorities in preventing and countering violent extremism, identifying relevant findings.

Once again, despite the rareness of terrorist attacks compared to other security issues, terrorism was recognised as a continuing threat and a priority on the political agendas. According to Adam Thompson (Superintendent at the Counter Terror Police UK) the difficulty of countering terrorism relies on the changing nature of terrorism, a multi-dimensional, faster and harder to detect threat. This has led authorities to modify their approaches towards a more collaborative and holistic counter action. So far, three are the practices of major success: the collaboration among the public and private sector; the attendance at international conferences, which allows sharing experiences and learn from other’s mistakes or best practices; and the standardisation of policies at national level, which strenghtens the national response. By now, no further major changes are requested to States, but efforts to make it all sustainable in the long term.

Among other priorities of the event programme emerged the phenomenon of prison radicalisation, alongside the engagement of former extremists or role models to counter violent extremism as well as new technological models to face the terrorist threat in external public realms – considered a top priority. Aimen Dean (Author of “Nine Lives: My Time as MI6’s Top Spy Inside al-Qaeda”) highlighted the importance of confronting the question of citizenship and Islamic solidariety to counter Islamist Extremism and the little relevance religious has in this form of extremism. Instead, Kathryn Eastwood (EY Foundation), outlined the importance of youth engagement in the security sector, as they are the crucial actors to build up a more aware and resilient society.  

Similar priorities and findings are shared by MINDb4ACT, which aims at implementing good practices in the four contexts of prisons, schools, local initiatives, and the Internet and media.

Speakers, agenda items and further details about ISE 2019 are available on this website.