First International Conference on Radicalisation and Political Violence

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First International Conference on Radicalisation and Political Violence was a conference on terrorism and 'radicalisation' held in London on 17 and 18 January 2008. It was also the launch event for the International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation and Political Violence (ISCR), a terrorism research institute based at King's College London.

Controversy over invitation to alleged war criminal

The conference, which took place on 17 and 18 January 2008, attracted controversy over a month earlier when it was revealed that Avi Dichter, the former head of the Shin Bet internal security agency, had planned to attend, but that Israel's foreign and justice ministries had advised him not to in case he was arrested for alleged war crimes. [1] Dichter headed Shin Beth when it helped plan the assassination of Hamas military commander Saleh Shehada in July 2002. The operation killed Shehada's wife and nine children. [2]

Government platform

The Home Secretary Jacqui Smith sets out the Government's new intiative in a speech to the conference

The Avi Dichter controversy aside, the most newsworthy aspect of the event was a speech by the UK Home Secretary Jacqui Smith on the morning of the first day [3] launching the government's new anti-terror intiative. Speaking to the BBC's Radio 4 Today programme before her speech, Smith said there were specific examples of websites that "clearly fall under the category of gratifying terrorism" and that, "There is growing evidence people may be using the internet both to spread messages and to plan specifically for terrorism." [4] The government's new intiative coincided with ISCR's first major research project 'Countering Online Radicalisation', and no doubt ISCR's launch and the launch of the government's new terrorism intiative were deliberately timed.

Listed participants (alphabetically by surname)

A panel at the conference featuring (from left to right) Daniel Benjamin, Sadig Al-Mahdi, Nick Fielding, Richard Dearlove and Frank Gardner.

Peter Ackerman | Musa Admani | Sadig Al-Mahdi | Charles Alao | Mohammed Mohammed Ali | Abdullah Anas | Howard Barrell | Dan Benjamin | Mats Berdal | Peter Bergen | Kjell Bondevik | Roddy Bret | Francisco Calderon | Kim Campbell | Yigal Carmon | Mustafa Ceric | Mohamed Chebaro | Erica Chenoweth | Jonathan Cohen | Denis Corboy | Audrey Cronin | Terry Davis | Richard Dearlove | Michael Downing | Jack DuVall | Sue Eckert | Roy Eidelson | Nick Fielding | Garret FitzGerald | Lawrence Freedman | Boaz Ganor | Frank Gardner | Jeroen Gunning | Chuck Hagel | Kemal Helbawy | Ortwin Hennig | Michael Hurley | Saad Ibrahim | Rudy Jaafar | Huda Jawad | Ely Karmon | George Kassimeris | James Kidner | Katherina Knop | Alan Krueger | Robert Lambert | Anatol Lieven | Shiraz Maher | Gaspar Martinez | Amado Mendoza | Hardy Merriman | Omar Nahar | Loretta Napoleoni | Peter Neumann | Funmi Olonisakin | David Omand | Michael Pakenham | Andres Pastrana | Yasar Qatarneh | Magnus Ranstorp | Mary Robinson | Berel Rodal | Eric Rosenbach | Olivier Roy | Harvey Rubin | Olli Ruohomaki | John Sacher | Domitilla Sagramoso | Yezid Sayigh | Steve Simon | Joshua Sinai | Jacqui Smith | Anne Speckhard | Maria Stephan | Sigmund Sternberg | Rebecca Stoil | Jurgen Storbeck | Henry Sweetbaum | Stephen Tankel | Bassam Tibi | David Ugarte | Gabriel Weimann | Achim Wennmann | William Zartman | Cem Özdemir [5]


  1. Rory McCarthy, 'NewsWorld newsIsraelIsraeli minister cancels UK trip in fear of arrest', The Guardian, 7 December 2007
  2. Israeli avoids UK arrest threat,BBC News Online, 6th December 2007
  3. Tom Patterson, The Journal (Newcastle),17 January 2008; p.2
  4. quoted in Hélène Mulholland, 'Government targets extremist websites',, 17 January 2008
  5. ICSR website, First International Conference on Radicalisation and Political Violence - Participants . retrieved from the Internet Archive 6 October 2008 on 14 March 2018.