Global Policies on Countering Extremism: Lessons Learned from Syria and Iraq

3 September 2019 - Radisson Blu Hotel - Beirut

The persistent threat of terror attacks in the United States, Europe and other countries by ideologically driven movements has triggered major responses from the international community to fight extremism and terrorism. However, the global community is far from having eradicated radical terrorist organizations. The Syria/Iraq Office of the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung, in cooperation with Maison du Futur and the Wilfried Martens Centre for European Studies hosted a conference with the aim of drawing lessons learned from the fight against terrorism and radicalization.


The one-day conference took place on September 3, 2019 in Beirut and was attended by decision-makers and other relevant stakeholders from Western countries and the Middle East.
The aim of the conference was to draw lessons learned from the fight against terrorism and radicalization, using the turmoil of Syria and Iraq as case studies. The event assessed the counterterrorism policies of major international actors, such as the EU, US, and Russia, highlighting their interests and strategies in the Middle East.

After the welcoming remarks were given, the first panel on countering terrorism in the MENA region started. Adapted tools and policies as well as foreign interests and geographical focuses of counterterrorism were discussed.
The second panel gave an insight on how different countries determine the internal threat radicalized individuals or groups pose within their state borders. The experts elaborated on characteristics of radicalization in addition to the legal framework and the available tools to prevent radicalization. Moreover, possible de-radicalization approaches for returning fighters from Syria and Iraq were addressed.
In the third panel, the nexus between radicalization and terrorism was analyzed.
An overview of the intertwined stakeholders working on de-radicalization and counterterrorism was presented. Strategies, approaches and lessons learned were reviewed and some recommendations for the MENA region were given. The conference strengthened the understanding of efficient strategies on countering extremism and radicalization, both in the countries of the Middle East and in the West.  



Program: Tuesday, September 3, 2019



PANEL 1: Countering Terrorism in the MENA Region – Interests and Policies

  • Adapting Tools and Policies of Counterterrorism
  • Foreign Interests and Geographical Focus of Counterterrorism
  • EU, US and Russian Counterterrorism Policies – Focus on Syria and Iraq
  • Questions and Answers

PANEL 2: Preventing Radicalization outside the MENA Region – Targets and Tools
  • Some Characteristics of Radicalization – Who and How?
  • Legal Framework and Available Tools to Prevent Radicalization
  • De-radicalization and Returning Fighters from Syria and Iraq
  • Questions and Answers

PANEL 3: Assessing the Nexus between Preventing Radicalization and Counterterrorism: Lessons Learned and       Recommendations
  • Linking Radicalization and Terrorism – EU, US and Russian Strategies
  • The Effectiveness and Failures of the Nexus Radicalization/Terrorism – The Recent Case of Syria and Iraq
  • Review of Strategies: Lessons Learned and Recommendations for the MENA Region
  • Questions and Answers
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Bereitgestellt von

Auslandsbüro Syrien/Irak