‘The depressing predictability of far right terrorism’

Dr William Allchorn, Adjunct Associate Professor in Politics at the University, has just had an opinion piece article published by European Eye on Radicalization, a platform that brings together analysts, scholars, and practitioners from all over the world to examine issues around radicalisation and extremism affecting Europe.

The article by Dr Allchorn analyses the Buffalo Shooting which took place on Saturday, 14 May this year where a heavily-armed young man in military gear attacked shoppers and workers at a supermarket in Buffalo, New York, killing ten people and wounding three others.  He comments, “Perhaps one of the most depressing realities to emerge after the attack was the predictability (and detectability) of the terrorist’s actions.

At Richmond, the American University in London, we have just started the first MA of its kind aiding the next generation of law-enforcement officers, journalists, and tech professionals in understanding the issues germane to far-Right extremism and terrorism, but what is also evident is that a more preventative approach is needed “left of boom”. Such an approach needs to be done at the mass level to boost critical digital literacy and to breed confidence in knowing how to respond when a friend, classmate, or relative appears to be switching in a concerning direction. Better awareness of the signs of radicalization are needed, and also a better awareness of leakage behaviour, is key to preventing another Christchurch, El Paso, Poway, Halle, Hanau, or Buffalo.

Dr Allchorn summarises the call for action outlined in the article saying, “The call in the piece is for more law enforcement and practitioners to be trained in the signs of radicalisation specific to radical right extremism, and our course hopes to raise that next generation of researchers and practitioners to better understand and respond to this phenomenon“.

Photograph: eeradicalization.com