Interview with Edwin Bakker about the Summer Programme Preventing Violent Extremism
Edwin Bakker is one of the speakers during the "Summer Programme Preventing, Detecting and Responding to the Violent Extremist Threat" together with many others. Read the interview here.
When did your interest in the subject terrorism start? what do you find interesting about it?
My interest arose honestly after 9/11. The interesting aspect lies in the question of how do people come so far that they are willing to sacrifice their own lives and those of others for their ideals. The motivation of the individual terrorist is more interesting to me than the movement, organisation or modus operandi of groups.
What are misunderstandings in the field of detecting and responding to a terrorist threat?
A frequently heard statement is that terrorism comes from poverty. However, there is no evidence for this. Indirectly, social indicators might partly play a role, but this is one of the worst misunderstandings or myths. I think it is important to keep making the distinction of what is radicalisation, extremism and terrorism. These phenomena are all different, and it is important we do not treat them in the same way.
What is your role within the Summer Programme?
I will participate in the end panel of the summer program. Together with a politician and a practioner I will reflect on the road ahead in the field of violent extremism.
Who is the summer program for and why do people need to register? Why is it interesting for people all around the world and not just for Dutch people?
I hope that people all around the world sign up for the summer programe. The Hague is the place where many different actors contribute to combating terrorism. In the field of law enforcement as well as outside, and on local, national and international level. On an international level you can think of organisations like europol, eurojust, the GCTF and various other NGOs. In the Netherlands and specifically The Hague we realise that no actor can do it alone and we are open to cooperation and the exchange of experiences.