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Coping with Coronavirus Series

Terrorism in the Time of Coronavirus

Online Event

Terrorism in the time of Coronavirus.png

Date:   31 March 2020

Online:  Zoom Platform

Online Streaming Available here

The Coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19) has affected every strata of our societies and will likely transform our lives for the times ahead. While the health and economic effects of the COVID-19 are — for obvious reasons —  at the centre of public attention, less attention is  paid to the impact on security, particularly the effect on terrorist actors and their behaviour. From the extreme right to the extreme left, religious fundamentalists to apocalyptical movements coronavirus is generating an effect. We have already seen a spike in hateful rhetoric, conspiracy theories and disinformation that seek to further erode  trust between citizens and their governments, exacerbate social divisions and sometimes incite violence. So, what is next?


With national resources and public attention largely directed at efforts to contain COVID-19, the current situation of panic and fear is prone to exploitation by nefarious non-state actors that seek to advance their own agendas and undermine the system even further. In doing so, such groups often reinforce each others’ narratives and accelerate actions. At the same time, the pandemic might act as a trigger for violent actions in the name of a metaphysical deity. It is therefore important to address such issues in advance.


Against this backdrop, we organised the second eRoundtable  from our ‘Coping with Coronavirus’ series, titled: ‘Terrorism in the Time of Coronavirus,’ which was held via Zoom platform on Tuesday, 31 March 2020 from 11:00 to 12:30 (CET).


Discussion focused on the impact of Coronavirus on terrorist groups’ and behaviour. Some questions to be answered by the experts will include:


•        How does the Coronavirus pandemic affect terrorist groups?

•        How are terrorist groups adapting?

•        What are some of the ways they are exploiting the crisis?

•        What can we expect in the future?

•        Will there be a spike in extremism as a result of this pandemic?

•        Are there some long-term impact of the pandemic in the field of terrorism?

Speakers List:

Caroline Varin Senior Lecturer in Security and International Organisations at Regent's University London, Director and Co-founder of Professors Without Borders (Prowibo)


Peter R. Neumann Senior Fellow, International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation and Political Violence (ICSR), London, United Kingdom


Yan St-Pierre CEO and Counter-Terrorism Advisor, Modern Security Consulting Group (MOSECON), Berlin, Germany


Mitchell BelferPresident, Euro-Gulf Information Centre (EGIC), Rome, Italy


This discussion was moderated by Sofia Barbarani Freelance Journalist, Conflict and Humanitarian Reporting in the Middle East


Previous Webinars:

  1. Coping with Coronavirus: Euro-Gulf Perspectives

  2. Terrorism in the Time of Coronavirus

  3. Disinformation in the Time of Coronavirus

  4. From Policy Makers to Experts: Foreign Policy Debates in a Pandemic

  5. The Middle East after Coronavirus

  6. Populism and Nationalism in the Time of Coronavirus

  7. A Persistent Challenge: ISIS in the Time of Coronavirus

  8. Pandenomics: The Economic Impact of Covid-19, 5 Years Forward

  9. The Diversity of Crises: Yemen in the Time of COVID-19

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