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Individuals who are inspired to commit violent acts of terrorism are a persistent phenomenon around the world. Often referred to as violent extremists (VEs), such individuals pose threats that are generally not constrained by international borders or necessarily limited to any single ideology. The term homegrown violent extremist is also used to indicate people who perpetrate a violent act in the country where they were born and/or raised.
Any sector could potentially be targeted in a VE attack, including nuclear facilities. One of the most serious security concerns affecting the nuclear sector is that insiders could become radicalised while employed—or that they are already radicalised at the time of hire—and might subsequently use their positions of trust and authority to carry out an attack. Mitigating this threat requires that all stakeholders play their part. Although ultimate resolution of the issue will take time, and perhaps generations, there is much that licensees can do now to protect their materials and facilities from insiders who are—or who could become—violent extremists.
Preventing and preparing to respond to a potential event initiated by a VE requires an in-depth understanding of who they might be, what motivates them, what their capabilities are, and how they might seek to harm a facility and its employees. Preventative security procedures as well as precautionary practises throughout the employment cycle can help to thwart and mitigate VE insider threats.
The webinar covered the recent political and security evolutions in selected regions of the world and will address how these changes may impact the global threat landscape and its relevance to the nuclear industry. In particular, it offered a brief summary of the history of modern radicalisation and highlight who the main groups of concern are and will describe some of the factors that drive the radicalisation of individuals.
Invited experts reviewed the process by which a person comes to support terrorism and extremist ideologies. The discussions supported the identification of known intentions and capabilities of groups promoting radicalisation and of what the most pertinent current and likely future threats could be.
The webinar highlighted the efforts made by governments to share information on radicalisation matters and to provide guidance on how to recognise and react to signs of radicalisation. Invited speakers shared reference materials that participants could use to strengthen their awareness and capabilities to mitigate the risk.
The webinar also explored the role of different stakeholders involved in the identification of the VE threats and good practices for ensuring an effective communication of threat information between specialised government agencies and nuclear operators.
This event complemented the November 2021 series of webinars conducted on threats faced by the nuclear sector.
The webinar was by invitation only. It was open to selected WINS alumni and participants in past WINS activities.
The webinar was conducted on 23 November at 10:00AM CET. It lasted 90 minutes and was delivered in English.
Two subject matter experts were invited to share their experience and expertise on the topic.
We welcome you to watch the recording of the Webinar below: