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 Context

The curriculum is developed at UCR within the framework of the international TERRA II project: a European network for the prevention of radicalization and recruitment to terrorism subsidized by the European Commission, HOME/2013/ISEC/AG/RAD-4000005270.

During TERRA I, a literature review on psycho-social factors leading to violent radicalization was conducted and, as a result of this, a matrix to identify the best preventive practices at each stage of radicalization has been developed, based on the Staircase to Terrorism Model (Moghaddam, 2005). Initial research showed that it is possible to identify key figures and influencing factors at each point during the process of radicalization. From this literature, certain trends became apparent, allowing specific guidelines for key figures who may be able to positively influence a vulnerable individual or community. This makes it possible to connect and tune interventions according to the context and key figures at each stage. This realization enables us to bridge the gap between the state of the art of academic research in this field and the best practices of front line workers working with the target group - susceptible individuals and vulnerable communities. On the basis of these findings, the TERRA I project created tools and materials to complement and support existing best practices: a manual for policy makers, journalists, teachers, religious leaders, and law enforcement personnel and educational material for schools, including video materials and testimonials from victims of terrorism and former terrorists. These tools were designed to support prevention and to help people to disengage from activity with violent radical groups. They were utilized during the TERRA II program.

 

The Terra II project had the following objectives:

  1. Supporting front line workers who come into daily contact with groups who have been identified as being vulnerable to radicalization through training of trainers and training sessions.

  2. Supporting victims of terrorism and former radicals by involving them as trainers in the training program for de-radicalization. Their testimonials were used as teaching materials and their input was used in all of the materials that this program produced.

  3. Integrating the state of the art knowledge on radicalization and de-radicalization in a Global/European Citi-zenship Program.

  4. Delivering practical policy advice to European governments, informed by state of the art research and ex-pert consensus, in order to assist them in meeting the challenges that Europe faces. Policy advice related to evolving and diverse forms of terrorism was based upon the Staircase to Terrorism Model used by TER-RA I and specifically designed to support decisions leading to effective interventions.

In order to achieve these objectives, we have undertaken the following activities:

  1. We developed and implemented a civic education program specifically tailored to address radicalization.

  2. We implemented tools designed to help people who work with susceptible individuals and vulnerable com-munities on a daily basis, such as teachers, law enforcement personnel, religious leaders, community leaders, journalists, policy makers, and social and youth workers. These tools were developed during TERRA I. They were implemented during the training of trainers in three countries: the United Kingdom, the Netherlands and Spain.

  3. We invited policy makers from the European Union who attended an event in Brussels, and received tailor-made, evidence based policy advice. Beneficiaries include European citizens from across the Union.

Partners in the project:

  • Impact, the Netherlands, is the National Knowledge and Advice Centre for Psychosocial Care concerning critical incidents. Impact was the coordinating partner for TERRA I, and they have also coordinated TERRA II. Impact has translated state of the art scientific knowledge on radicalization into practical tools and im-plemented them in TERRA II.

  • AAV-11M, Spain, the Association for Aid to the Victims of the 11th March stimulates transnational coopera-tion between associations of victims of terrorism and enhances the representation of victims’ interests at the European level. Target groups and beneficiaries are victims, (potential) terrorists, EU member states and frontline workers in the field of rehabilitation, teaching, policing and welfare. AAV-11M is the founding mother of the European Network of Victims of Terrorism.

  • Quiliam Foundation, the United Kingdom, is the world's first counter-extremism think tank set up to address the unique challenges of citizenship, identity, and belonging in a globalized world. Quilliam stands for reli-gious freedom, equality, human rights and democracy.