This panel discusses how nationalism and extremism pose mounting challenges around the world, including in North America. December, 2021.
0:00:00.0 John Ciorciari: Hi, everyone and welcome to this second in a series of seminars or webinars on nationalist extremism in North America. I'm John Ciorciari, I'm the director of the International Policy Center and the Weiser Diplomacy Center at the University of Michigan's Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy. And we're pleased to be running this series as part of our 2021/2022 North American Colloquium, which is a partnership that we have at Michigan with the University of Toronto and the Autonomous National University of Mexico. This year's theme, A Nationalist Extremism, will culminate in a conference that will host in-person here in Ann Arbor in April.
0:00:43.3 JC: In the meantime, as I mentioned, we're in the second of our four webinar sessions on the theme. The first in late October dealt with the historical drivers for nationalist extremism in Canada, Mexico, and the United States. Today we're here to talk about the current threat environment, and in the winter, we'll have further sessions on the policy tools and frameworks available and new approaches to dealing with and countering nationalist extremism. For today's session on the current threat environment, we're delighted to have two panelists with us and a third who has submitted a video as he's unfortunately unable to be here, synchronously.
0:01:20.8 JC: I'll start by introducing him. Dr. Leonardo Curzio Gutierrez is at the Center for Research on North America at the Autonomous National University of Mexico. He's an expert on national security and is the author of eight books, as well as a co-author of a few dozen more, all on topics related to national security and governance in Mexico and other countries. Next we have Dr. Stephanie Carvin who is an Associate Professor of International Relations at the Norman Paterson School of International Affairs at Carleton University in Canada. Stephanie is an expert in international law, security, terrorism and technology. She's the author of the book, Prisoners of America's Wars: From the Early Republic to Guantanamo from Columbia and Hurst in 2010, as well as the co-author of the book, Science, Law, Liberalism, and the American Way of Warfare: The quest for Humanity and Conflict, published by Cambridge in 2015. Among other things, Stephanie has worked as a consultant to the US Defense Department and spent three years as an analyst with the Canadian Government on national security issues.
0:02:28.5 JC: Third, we'll have Dr. Cynthia Miller-Idriss who is a Professor at the School of Public Affairs and School of Education, and runs the Polarization and Extremism Research & Innovation Lab in the Center for University Excellence at American University in Washington, DC. Cynthia regularly briefs policy, security education, and intelligence agencies in the United States and the United Nations, and around the world on trends in domestic violent extremism, as well as strategies for prevention and disengagement. She's the author of the new book, 'Hate in the Homeland,' the New Global Far Right from Princeton University Press. And some of you in the Ford School Community had the privilege of hearing her speak about that book just last month. She's also the author of several other books, including, from Princeton University Press in 2018, the book, 'The Extreme Gone Mainstream: Commercialization and Far Right, Youth Culture in Germany.' Last but certainly not least, Cynthia is a graduate of the University of Michigan, both the Master of Public Policy Program and the Doctorate in sociology.
0:03:34.4 JC: So we are delighted to have such a great panel, and I'm also privileged to have my partner in crime Javed Ali, a colleague here at the Ford School, himself, an expert in nationalist extremism, and a person with many years of high-level experience in the US government including a Senior Director of counter-terrorism at the National Security Council, and other senior roles at the National Counter-Terrorism Center, the FBI and elsewhere. So I'm going to turn over to Javed, and he will moderate today's webinar panel.
0:04:10.6 Javed Ali: Thanks, John, for that introduction, and great to be with everyone today. Hopefully, at one point we're gonna have these in person and maybe we'll have to wait till April to get to that, but definitely great to have everyone on for this session today. And John, as you mentioned, we're gonna take a look at the current threat landscape, and there's a lot of ground to cover on that between Mexico, Canada, and the United States. And that landscape seems to be shifting even underneath our feet, so even what we thought a year ago might be a little different from what the threat environment looks like now, but that's what we're gonna try to get into with the panel today. And John, I believe based on the order of presentations, we're gonna have the recorded session first, and then we're gonna have the short remarks from Dr. Carvin and Cynthia, and then I will engage in a Q and A with them, and then hopefully we'll get some questions from the audience as well.
0:05:13.2 JC: Wonderful. And with that, I'll share Leonardo's video.
0:05:22.6 Dr. Leonardo Curzio Gutiérrez: Hi, good morning to everyone. I would like to express how deeply honored I am to share the panel with you, Dr. Carvin, and with you Dr. Miller-Idriss. I would like to thank Dr. Ciorciari for hosting us, and for his kind presentation. I know that it's not the proper way, is not the best way to participate in a panel, delivering my remarks recorded, but sometimes it's impossible to deal with Eastern Time and Paris time. So sorry about that. I know I'm missing a very interesting debate, and let me share with you a couple of thoughts about the subject we are discussing. The current landscape is changing, naturally, at the sunset of the last century, universalism and cosmopolitanism were highly appreciated values.
0:06:20.3 DG: Globalization as a human project, provided a highly, a highly optimistic framework to organize the international arena to deal with global uncertainty, to force a convergence and to be the basis for dignity, for respect, to foster this sense of belonging to the planet Earth as a common homeland. As a French thinker Edgar Morin said, "We have to identify our homeland as... The planet as our homeland, like Terre-patrie." The first challenge to this wishful thinking was a debate introduced by Samuel Huntington. We belong to different civilizations, so it's preposterous to expect a peaceful world in the circumstances. No, we belong to different civilizations. We have different approaches.
0:07:27.7 DG: So we are in a certain way destined to fight. The second challenge was the identity also raised by the brilliant, yet controversial Huntington. The identity, who I am, or who are we as a nation, is never an innocent question. Identity as nationalism is always a provocative way. It's probably elegant sometime to stress differences. We are not equal. We speak different tongues. We have different religions. We have different values, so we are essentially incompatible. We do not match. The national or the natural connection between identity, national identity and a daily life in North America, all the anxiety after the crisis, the financial crisis of 2008 is not really a migration. How can we deal with that complicated issue, which is, you know, emotional, highly human, we don't trust if we don't know each other, is highly politicized, and it's a driver for political polarization. The anti-Mexican narrative displayed by Trump and company five years ago, killed for instance, NAFTA.
0:09:03.7 DG: The speed of Houston was killed by this narrative, and by the way, this narrative empoisoned the administer of the region. I am afraid, by the way, that it is not over, probably in the election, and the next presidential elections, the ghost of nativism will re-emerge in America and in the region. Allow me to share with you a couple of remarks about the Mexican reaction to these anti-Mexican wave. Happily, the Mexican response to this, and the Mexican wave has been mainly rhetoric. Lopez Obrador, our popular and populist as well, President, use in a synergic way, this bombastic narrative to campaign, mainly to campaign, but once in office, his strategy has been highly pragmatic, even condescendent, if I may say. Lopez as the epitome of the Mexican left is not surprisingly anti-American. On the contrary, he is a huge fan of USMCA. He doesn't want to establish deeper ties with China and he is convinced by the idea of ally-shoring, near-shoring. So in the left-wing political spectrum of Mexican culture is not growing anti-Americanism nor anti-Canadianism.
0:10:54.3 DG: AMLO is not recycling the classic topics about or against free trade, classic topics used by the unions and the left-wing party politics in Latin America. He considers that we are neighbors and we have to deal with that fact. The Leftist traditional narrative, though, it has some components that could have disruptive potential in the foreseeable future. The narrative of Mexican nationalism is highly victimist. The classic approach is against mining, and the energy and oil. Next year, the electric reform proposed by the president could be... Could provide the ground for a growing nationalist speech defending our sovereignty. Keep an eye on that. And finally, it's probably an old fashion ideology of national liberation, but it's in a very good shape these days. Our president considers Cuba not a stubborn and authoritarian regime, but a heroic one, which is disturbing, but that's the way it is, which deserves, by the way, he said, a kind of noble prize for its endurance and resilience. That could be as well a source of unrest for the region, but I have been a little bit long, I know, I would like to apologize once again. Thank you very much for your kind invitation. I wish you an excellent debate.
0:12:44.5 JA: Thank you. So with those remarks from Dr. Curzio, unfortunately, wasn't able to be here, but I think he provided an interesting macro-level view on some of these key drivers and issues in Mexico. Let me next turn to Dr. Carvin to give us the view from Canada, and I believe you have some slides you'd also like to share, so hopefully that function will work.
0:13:26.0 JA: Dr. Carvin, we're not getting sound from you.
0:13:31.3 Dr. Stephanie Carvin: There we go. How's that?
0:13:31.9 JA: Yep, much better.
0:13:33.8 DC: Okay.
0:13:34.4 JA: Thank you. [chuckle]
0:13:34.8 DC: Yeah, I like that introduction where you said I was good at technology. I studied technology, 'cause I'm always the person who leaves the mute button on. Thank you so much for having me here today. I was absolutely delighted to receive this email. Yeah, from the biography, I realize they need to update it a little bit, most of my work recently has been on violent extremism and national security threats, mostly from a Canadian perspective, but also how they inter-sync with that of our allies, so this is a very interesting conference and I'm happy to be here.
0:14:01.6 DC: So there's a number of observations that I wanted to make just from the get-go, and I had this actual interesting exchange with John just before we started, because the title Nationalist Extremism, I don't know to the extent to how well that translates to the Canadian experience, because we have actually had kind of nationalist violence in the form of the FLQ, right? So when I think of nationalist violence, that's kind of what I think of, but yeah, it's kind of the... What's called now, I think ideologically motivated violent extremism or IMVE, that's the term that's increasingly being used instead of left versus right or nationalist or anything like this, it's just...
0:14:40.1 DC: And it really refers to kind of a soupy mix of ideas, grievances, conspiracy theories that kind of come together, and I'll get to that in a second. Secondly, I think the important thing to keep in mind in the Canadian context is just how transnational these IMVE groups are. It's a very odd mix of importing and exporting of ideas, and the Canadian... Movements in Canada have been heavily influenced by both movements in Europe, as well as the United States, but also Canada has exported some of our [chuckle] extremists too, particularly the United States. And finally, the way that the, I think the biggest trend in Canada right now is the way that IMVE groups are intersecting with the anti-lockdown, anti public health measure protesters, and so I'll get to that in the presentation.
0:15:26.3 DC: So the definition I use basically for far right extremism, which kind of covers, I think a lot of the IMVE, not all of it, but it's a starting place, is the one here from Perry and Scrivens, which is a loose movement animated by racially ethnically and sexually defined nationalism. This nationalism is typically framed in terms of white power and is grounded in xenophobic, exclusionary understandings of the perceived threats posed by such groups as non-whites, Jews, immigrants, homosexuals and feminists. You can almost certainly add Islamophobia to that. But that's not a comprehensive understanding. I mean, if you look at some of the QAnon groups that are here now, they tend to be relatively diverse, and those groups are being targeted by some of the IMVE extremists. So it's gonna be interesting to see where that goes.
0:16:14.1 DC: In addition, a lot of the movements, which I'm gonna list in a second, they tend to be imported and adapted from Europe. So for example Pegida, The Soldiers of Odin, although that group in Canada has come together and fallen apart multiple, multiple times. And then as well as the United States, so some of our first hate groups like the KKK, The Base... So it says Atomwoffen, it should be Atomwaffen. These are very highly transnational groups as well. So again, not strictly speaking Canadian, but we have... The scene here in Canada is kind of heavily influenced by what's happening abroad. But again, Canadians have played influential roles in transnational movements, like, I'll get into that in a second, in two slides actually. But today, we think of people like Lauren Southern, Stefan Molyneux, even to a certain extent Jordan Peterson, I wouldn't put him as a violent extremist, of course, but certainly someone who is intersected with this movement in some not great ways. And Faith Goldy, the proud boys, these are all individuals who are Canadian, had big online presence and in a lot of cases I've actually tried to go to the United States in order to try and make it big.
0:17:23.4 DC: So this is how the Canadian Security Intelligence Service, our domestic, I guess it's the Canadian MI5, if you will. This is how they understand the threat now. So religiously-motivated violent extremism would be things like Al-Qaeda and Hezbollah. Politically motivated violent extremism would be certain kind of separatist groups, Khalistani separatism, for example, which has a very small presence in Canada, and then IMVE, which they see as a kind of... They kind of broke it up into four categories, xenophobic violence, so that's your racially-motivated violence, gender-based violence is now pretty big. Incel, the incel movement was actually... It's pretty big in Canada, we've had a number of incel attacks, and additionally the term incel was coined in Canada by a Canadian woman, not in a malicious way, it just kind of got hijacked.
0:18:12.9 DC: Anti-authoritarian violence has been pretty big since at least 2014, and then you kind of have the other. Right? Which we'll get to in a second. So who are we talking about? Really, we've seen here the legacy hate groups, KKK, the creativity movement, again, started by Canadian, had to go to the United States though, in order to really thrive, but their ideas really still carry on. In particular, the creativity movement coined the term "racial holy war". And again, the symbols that these groups tend to promote continue to be influential today. Secondly, we have anti-authoritarianism, which is again, this idea that government is illegitimate, they rely on the misinterpretation of treaties or made up treaties, and again, we use the term pseudo-law in order to talk about the kind of ideas that they're basing their bizarre conspiracy theories on.
0:19:09.3 DC: There's a famous case here in Canada called Meads versus Meads, which coined the term Organized Pseudolegal Commercial Arguments that are put forward. Again, a lot of intersection with conspiracy theories. With anti-authoritarianism we also have, though, unfortunately a number of shootings, we had a shooting in Moncton, New Brunswick. We had the white nationalists, the Iron March legacy group, this is a real concern, particularly in the current era. Neo-Nazis, accelerationists, The Base, Atomwaffen, all these different kinds of groups. The Order of Nine Angles actually carried out a pretty horrific stabbing at a Toronto mosque last year. Or a person associated with that group, satanic Neo-Nazis. Incel violence, which is of course gender-based violence, the idea that there's a conspiracy theory against Beta males and that society has to be re-ordered so that every male can have some kind of female partner, Islamophobic antiimmigrant. This is...
0:20:09.7 DC: Again, this is slightly different in Quebec, I'm kinda speaking more to the Anglo-Canadian experience, but again, this is... The anti-immigrant Islamophobic movements here tend to really be inspired by European groups that are imported and then the alt-right cultural chauvinist. So there's an America First movement in the US that's now... We now have a Canada First movement. Really creative guys, brilliant. We also have The Proud Boys, which again, was started by a Canadian, that's now been listed as a terrorist organization, and something called Wingism, which is kind of far right youth-driven, very meme heavy base graphic violence. So I have attacks, I don't really wanna spend all my time on those, but you can see there's been a growing number of fairly serious attacks here in Canada. And then of course, we have the intersection now, with antipublic health measure in networks, in particular, the far right. So a lot of YouTube personalities or these protesters that kind of live stream their... Everyone's ganging up on some poor pharmacy somewhere, that's handing out vaccinations, certain politicians that have made their... Pardon me, their brand, not particularly successfully, like no antivaxxer was... That's not true, there have... There are antivaxxers that were elected, but not based on an antivaxxer platform.
0:21:30.7 DC: And then again, with this intersection with the IMVE groups, that are trying... That have shown up to these antivax protests, that are in the forums that are trying to encourage this, and as well, we have the religious far right, which honestly is just trying to resist a lot of these, but has kind of done well to network in far right Christian American organizations, mostly I think for the purpose of getting money. A lot of grift going on here, but that's what it looks like, and this is just some of the examples of these movements, which... Again, if anyone has questions, I could go into it, but it's an example here of... The top right is the one, Rebel media, they're trying to get money for people to fight government measures, Canada First, this is the Groyper movement, that's based off of the US. These were sovereign citizen pamphlets that were handed out by the so-called Queen of Canada, demand... A lady by a last name of Didulo, who's a QAnon influence but kind of gone her own route now, and she's now encouraging her followers to try to shut down vaccination sites.
0:22:37.4 DC: We have politician... Oh, sorry, that's Hildebrandt there, he's a religious preacher who had his church shut down. Ray Dalio is a politician who's been, again, campaign against these things, and then we see these kind of far right publications that are coming out against publications. So again, and I see I'm kind of running out of time, so again if I was to identify the concerns, it's really the kind of links between the far right and the antipublic health measure protesters. I put it here, a picture, this is a report that we put out last week with the Institute for Strategic Dialogue with two other coauthors that goes into this in a little bit more detail, if you're interested in what's happening in Canada. But where does this go after COVID-19? It's fractious links between all these different groups, but they've really built up some networks. So these networks could turn to more traditional far right issues, if it's youth-driven, like we're seeing with the Canada First movement and the Wingism movement, it's probably gonna be done through the prism of culture and fighting to take Canada back. And antigovernment movements can pose a risk to public order, as we've seen in a number of protests.
0:23:42.8 DC: So this is kind of maybe getting to your next series, so I don't wanna spend too much time on this, but I think there's a number of problems that we have going forward, one is I don't think there's still a good understanding of what this IMVE is in Canada. People were taught that terrorism is only Al-Qaeda for 20 years and trying to convince law enforcement to take this seriously is hard, so even when they do see these protests, they don't necessarily recognize the problem for what it is or where it comes from, they just see a bunch of people shouting about some person named Q and all these kinds of things, but they don't understand how this is all intersecting into a big picture. And the third question is jurisdiction, who's actually responsible for this is a really tricky question in Canada. In the US, it's kind of the FBI. But in Canada, the jurisdiction's really, really messy, and I would be happy to explain more of that if people had questions, but it's not immediately obvious who should be taking charge.
0:24:38.3 DC: And then finally, borderlines. I've talked to you about preachers and things like this, they're allowed to have obnoxious terrible beliefs, that's their right, it's when they act on it. So it's not always clear when security agencies should be getting involved, if they should be involved at all, or if this is really just kind of a policy challenge. So I'll end my comments there having provided that hop, skip and jump over the terrible landscape that is Canadian IMVE. Thank you very much.
0:25:08.5 JA: Alright, Dr. Carvin, thanks for painting that really broad picture, a lot of diversity in the landscape, and I'll just make an observation, and I don't wanna steal any of Cynthia's thunder for giving the US perspective, but just from the security service side, and again, being in the trenches, in that in my own career, I find it really interesting that... And I actually had a pretty good relationship with CSIS in my time, in government, and during my time it was all focused on the Jihadist threat and those multiple conversations with my colleagues in Ottawa, when they would come to DC, we were really laser-focused on that, but then CSIS puts out its public-facing document on what this different domestic terrorism threat looks like in Canada, and that came out last year and CSIS uses its own nomenclature and taxonomy, and then the US put its own document out in March of 2021 through the National Counterterrorism Center, which I also worked in for several years, and that is the first public-facing intelligence community product by the United States that lays out its framework for what this threat landscape looks like, and I'm sure Cynthia is gonna talk about that, but I just wanted to have our listeners understand the difference, and then where the US insight from the intelligence community perspective, has landed. So with that, Cynthia, great to so you again and over to you.
0:26:34.0 Dr. Cynthia Miller-Idriss: Great, thanks Javed, great to see you. And a lot of my remarks will dovetail really nicely, I think, especially with the Canadian perspective, but from the things we've already heard, I'm not gonna use slides. But I will tell you a little bit of structure. I am planning to just make three major points, the first is to talk about the changing landscape of domestic violent extremism in the US in particular, so I'll talk about how things are transforming. The second is, what we do or how we think about these broader threats to democracy, things that don't traditionally fall within the realm of the extremist fringe, but actually are more in the mainstream, so threats to election workers, more political violence kind of things. And the third, I wanna talk about solutions and sort of in that case, not just what we're doing in the US, but what we might learn from some other countries in particular, Germany, where I spent the first 20 years of my career really studying these issues. And of course, I wanna thank the Ford School and U of M in general, for being there, for inviting me, it was great to be there in person, and it's great to be back virtually as an alum and as a Ford School grad.
0:27:51.2 DM: So really happy to be here. So on the changing landscape, just on that threat assessment issue that Javed just mentioned, in late 2020, THS issued the first Homeland Security Threat Assessment that listed... That essentially said, domestic violent extremism is the most pressing threat to the nation and they identified white supremacist extremists as the biggest threat within that. After January 6, The Office of the Defense... ODNI, the Director of National Intelligence issued a slightly revised threat assessment that is saying sort of a split threat, which is antigovernment extremists or unlawful militias essentially represent the most serious threat to law enforcement to elected officials, to government institutions, and White supremacist extremists represent the most pressing and lethal threat to civilians who are members of targeted groups essentially, so the slight split threat.
0:28:54.7 DM: So it's evolving, right? And part of how it's evolving, the two sort of things I wanna say there are that we're seeing an evolution from organizational forms of terrorism and extremist groups to what we call postorganizational forms, meaning that it's much more a situation where people are radicalized online, in more patchwork kinds of ways by encountering extremist propaganda, some of which comes from organized groups, but they are less likely to actually become card-carrying members of those groups, even as they plot and plan and enact terrorist violence. That means that the strategies, which I'm gonna talk about later, to address it, when they have focused historically on monitoring and surveying and infiltrating groups are struggling, I think, to catch up to what do you do about this postorganizational form and some of the more conspiracy-driven types of violence that assemble sometimes into groups, like boogaloo let's say, is a... What I call a mobilizing concept, it is a concept about... It's a code word for a second Civil War, and sometimes groups form around that concept, but they don't actually always share ideological roots with other groups that mobilize around the same concept.
0:30:22.0 DM: So we had boogaloo groups in the summer of 2020, marching alongside Black Lives Matter protesters in some cases, for example, because they saw a shared common denominator around antilaw enforcement. And in other cases, boogaloo boys were opposing those Black Lives Matter protesters because they believe they were there to protect institutions or commercial entities. So in both cases, they were mobilized by a concept around a second Civil War or revolution of the collapsed systems, but their actually ideological roots are quite modeled or varied in other ways, so the concept itself mobilizes, we see that with West... The concept of Western values too, where western values is used, particularly in Europe, I'm talking mostly about the US, but by far-right political parties have drawn successfully support from people on the left who by arguing that Islam is a threat to women's and LGBTQ rights, and so this concept of Western values has drawn a broader ideological support, or the defense of ideological... Of Western values has drawn broader ideological support and drawn people to political parties that are actually antiimmigrant by making that argument and rooting it.
0:31:38.0 DM: And so that gets to my second point, which is not only we're seeing postorganizational forms, they are much more muddled and patchwork ideologies and that's related. So you see these concepts that mobilize people, you see things like a White supremacist extremist group that got reconstituted late this year with an argument that they are now Bolshevik focused on liquidation of the capitalist class but as White supremacists, so they're anticapitalism White supremacists, pulling together two sets of kind of ideological motivations that typically have not come together, so an increasing cross-ideological into capitalism and increasing across ideological environmental sustainability claims. So we see eco-fascism for example motivating recent terrorists including in El Paso, who argue that sustainability is linked to closure of borders and antiimmigrant violence is justified based on claims about sustainability and preservation of the land for White people. So racial entitlement to the land, feeding into this, but still drawing people who are traditionally promoters of environmentalism, of protection of the land, of sustainability of nature, there's a lot of merchandising products being sold that are about nature and match the natural order of things as a justification for social inequality, for example. So strange kinds of eco-fascism and links and belief in nature as a route for White supremacist thinking.
0:33:19.2 DM: So we see that with anticapitalism, we see it with eco-fascism, we see it with things like the boogaloo, which have modeled ideological kinds of claims, so it's that patchwork type of ideology. So that's a kind of changing landscape, it's a mess, it's modeled, It's muddy, it's hard to disentangle, much harder on the back end to use a security frame to analyze, infiltrate, monitor and survey these groups, it's like a big amoeba that keeps morphing into new things. Making things even complicated, we now have this broader set of threats is my second point, to the nation that is not just typically the fringe, but really ways in which extremist actions of violence have moved into the mainstream, so we've been seeing so many attacks on election workers, threats and violence and death threats that the Department of Justice late... In late fall, announced a special task force to address it. We have obviously seen January 6, spontaneously mobilized violence around events. We have threats against healthcare workers, teachers, school board officials, violence enacted, that is political, that is antimask, that is antivaccine, that's drawing people from again, a kind of the antivax crowd, which has traditionally been antiscience, alternative medicine, a little bit more leftist and hippie, bringing them into conversation with the antigovernment crowd and with the conspiracy crowd.
0:34:52.0 DM: So you get these strange coalitions of people showing up at protests who are gathered on what I call the lowest common denominator, so they're sort of assembling on the thing... The one thing that they agree on, even if actually their goals normally do not align at all. And that landed us as a country on a global list of what are called backsliding democracies, last month. So some people may have followed that, in the news, there's been a lot of analysis of that. First time we landed on that list, it's not a good sign for our democracy, and I will say that... That group is a Swedish-based NGO that releases that list every year, has historical data that shows it does take about nine years from the point a country lands on a backsliding... Is identified as a backsliding democracy, to either collapse as a democracy or reconstitute itself in stronger ways. So it's not an immediate collapse, but it's a huge warning sign, and it really shows essentially that as some people have argued, who are electoral scholars that the most important principle of a democracy is the agreement of a losing incumbent to leave office if he or she loses election, and we have just in the recent Marist Poll, released last week, now, only a third of Republicans even say that they would accept the 2024 election results if their candidate loses.
0:36:32.2 DM: So we already know that the next few years are going to be a real struggle when you have... And this isn't... I'm not trying to make this a partisan issue, but the data... The polling data is partisan in this way, the Democrats weren't 100% either, but it was better. It was something like 70% or 80%. But it's not ideal. Ideally, you want 100% of people to accept the credible results of an election, and not less. So... And that, in some cases, has led to tremendous violence and I think we should anticipate it, that it will, in 2022 and in 2024. Related to that, I would say is also the rampant spread of disinformation, propaganda and of conspiracy theories, and part of that is also the trouble that led us into backsliding democracy. So I haven't been paying attention to time, Javed, do I have time to talk about solutions, or should I... Should we stop and get into that in Q&A?
0:37:23.1 JA: Yeah, let's maybe pause on that, Cynthia, and then I've got a couple... What I would call icebreaker questions for both you and Stephanie, and then I will launch those covers, in a way, some of what you already said, but it'd be good to kind of pull out some additional insights and then hopefully we'll get some questions from the audience. John, is that the plan from our audience participation? Okay, alright, so great comments, Cynthia. I think it's not obviously a one for one with Canada, but the same broad diversity of ideologies and organizations and groups and movements, and I like your amoeba analogy, 'cause that sort of captures the fluidity of everything.
0:38:06.9 JA: So let me ask a question or two that kinda just digs into some of that, and this in a way, is sort of a step back from what both of you have just described, and it's almost asking you to pick up on where we left off in the first panel, but... Which none of you were on. But to both of you in what ways are the current threat environments that you both described so eloquently, either similar or different to what that same environment in Canada and the United States looked like 10 or 20 years ago? So I'd be curious to get both of your perspectives on that point.
0:38:46.0 DC: I'm happy to go.
0:38:47.6 DM: You can go first. Go ahead.
0:38:47.7 DC: I'll try and go first. I think... When I... So when I was working with the government on violent extremism. I remember the first time we saw this hit Facebook in a big way, and it was the murder of Lee Rigby in the UK. The murder of Lee Rigby in the UK, was a giant far right event on Facebook, we saw there was the EDL, the English Defense League. We saw the creation of the CDL, literally just take any bad organization, just put Canada in front of it and that's... Yeah, that's how we roll sometimes, so we had the Canadian Defense League, a start-up, and just the number of likes that it got was huge, and someone who was looking at this issue started pointing this out, and we started noticing it taking off, so I would say 2013 was actually probably the year that... Look, it's existed online forever, but in terms of it going from a movement online to a mass movement available... I just really wanna compliment Cynthia, on her presentation, I just thought it was wonderful, and I can see so much of it and in a big way. The other thing I'll note here is we have seen it really again... The other moment, I would say, so speaking 20 years, I would say 2016 in the US... The 2016 election was like an electroshock in Canada with regards to the thinking about this and the problems of online discourse.
0:40:11.3 DC: And then the other really big one was actually the Christ Church shooting. All of sudden, I was pulled into all these meetings about what do we do about this problem, I think... Not that we've solved it, but I think... So I would say those three events seemed to have really had the biggest impact. And then in our election this year which we had in 2021, the Prime Minister started to be followed around by some of these protest movements, and he got... People threw rocks at his head, it's really the first time we've seen stuff like that. It was gravel. But I mean, it was not good. It's like this... It's very normal for Canadian politicians to be able to mingle with the general population. It's very normal for Canadian citizens to be able to walk around key public institutions in a relatively controlled way, but it's there. So it's different. The last thing I'll say, sorry, is the one thing that I did notice in every year now, our NSA, the Communication Security Establishment puts out a threats to Canadian democratic institutions online papers, it's the third time they've done this, and for the first time ever, they talked about the influence in United States.
0:41:21.7 DC: And they said For every tweet that... For every retweet a Canadian sends, nine of them originate in the United States. So the influence of the US discourse is so heavy on Canada, and the one thing we have started to see is that importation of this idea of the big lie, the idea that elections are not free and fair, that they're rigged, all that kind of stuff. I thought that might play a bigger role in 2021, it doesn't seem to have caught on because our electoral system is a little bit different than from what you guys have. You guys have kind of this whole thing, I'll just call that, our elections are very centrally controlled and we still use pencils and stuff like that, so it's a little bit harder to make those arguments but... I'll stop talking there here.
0:42:06.9 JA: Alright. Stephanie, thanks for that. So Cynthia, any perspective to add on the step back view about kind of...
0:42:14.4 DM: Yeah. What's been happening in the States, it's hard to say just 10 or 20. Really, the white power movement is what Kathleen Belew has called it. She's a fantastic historian who I recommend everyone read her book called "Bring the War Home" dates the shift really to the 1970s where you start to see disgruntled Vietnam, that setting of anti-government white power training camps that led directly to Oklahoma City eventually. But then after that, we had a shrinking kind of going underground of the entire anti-government and White supremacist movements for lots of different reasons, and then 9/11 happened. So what happened then, 911 pivoted everybody's attention to the threat from abroad and the threat from Islamist extremism and then terrorism.
0:43:04.9 DM: So when white supremacist hate groups and anti-government extremism and the unlawful militia forums started to grow, which started in 2009 when we had record breaking hate group numbers and the constitution of things like the Oath keepers and the three percenters, which was right after Obama was elected. So we had this kind of backlash effect, nobody was really paying attention, so they were growing. It was really... So, it really predates but that was 2016, then '17 came, we had... I see people starting to pay attention here around the Unite... The Right Rally right after the 2016 election, and then Christ Church El Paso, 'cause I think what really drove Congressional hearings and attention at the policy levels, leading them eventually to revise threat assessments. But the roots of it really go back a long time, so there's this balance between what's changed, meaning, I think what's really changed is that people are paying attention to it, and the intelligence and the security and in the policy communities far more than they were even four or five years ago. But really only because of such shocking and tremendous violence and the changing nature of that violence.
0:44:21.0 DM: I mean, part of what Christ church did was turn... It was live stream, and the live streaming of it really did shift and in the global inspiration, I hate to use that word, but that is what really happened. He was inspired by Brevik and Oslo and then El Paso shooter and others were inspired directly by him. So you really saw this kind of literal scoreboard in meme form emerge online with Kill counts and with labeling of saints and disciples, and really trying to emulate these terrorist actors, emulate these other guys in almost like lone wolf form to not members of groups, but inspired by this global brand conspiracy theory called the Great replacement.
0:45:09.8 DM: And the great replacement itself, which is really important to say, that used them then to attack Muslims in New Zealand, to attack Jews in Pittsburg and to attach Latinos and El Paso. So it became this really overarching... And then overseas in Germany and elsewhere as well. So you saw this really more ecumenical, could anyone who's other than White men were attacked with the same conspiracy theory, and that was sort of different than what we've seen before. So there's lots of ways to look at the difference, but I would say the biggest difference is that people are paying attention.
0:45:47.5 JA: And I'd like to get the virtual audience involved, so please, if you have a question or a comment, if you can use the raise hand function please do so. But I also wanna put an observation in and then see if either of you wanna make a comment on that, if we're gonna think about a step back perspective here, and I talked about this in a class that I led this semester in domestic terrorism but if you actually go back to the same starting point, Cynthia that you talked about in the late 1960s, early 1970s here in the US, was sort of the a beginning, embryonic beginnings of this new phase of the white power movement. We also had in the United States, which a lot of people don't remember, an equally lethal and hyper-violent far-left threat in the United States, which probably at least in terms of numbers, conducted more attacks than anything on the far right under the white power spectrum, which I just find fascinating. And they were both co-existing at the same time.
0:46:48.0 JA: But here we are now, 50 years later, and that very lethal far-left threat doesn't seem to be present, either in the US or Canada. And I'm curious if both of you also see that? Or if you think that has the potential to change? Or is there potential to go back to the future of the 1970s when there were bombings and kidnappings, and shootouts with law enforcement and assassinations from far-left extremists here in the US.
0:47:16.9 DM: Yeah, I mean that's... If you look at the Global Terrorism Index data, they have some incredible charts that show the far-left terrorism of the '70s, in particular, all the way up to the early '80s, not just was equal, but far exceeded any other form of political terrorism and extremism. So... And then it did start to decline in the '80s, and that's when you started to see this rise of... On the far-right side of things. And I should say I define far right as, two major things, one is supremacist ways of thinking that dehumanize. So that can be white supremacist, but also male supremacist, Christian supremacist. We've got a range of different Western supremacy, so the Proud Boys fall into that as a Western chauvinist group, right? But also the anti-government side, where you have authoritarianism and refusal to protect minority rights and rejection of freedom of the press, et cetera, et cetera. So that's the way that I define it. And I would expect us to see significantly more far-left terrorism in the years to come.
0:48:23.7 DM: One of the things we're seeing is rising accelerationism, which is an ideologically agnostic tactic or strategy that is applied equally and growing on all sides, which is sort of like a bog-it-all-down mentality. It is about collapsing the existing social and political and economic order, so it is a tactic that's used by anti-capitalists, but also by anti-government extremists. It uses... It sees violence as the best means to collapse these systems that will later be reconstituted, and the way you reconstitute them varies, depending on what group or ideology you're talking about. But we've been seeing that rise across the political spectrum. And also them then come together in these weird ways, like the white supremacist Bolsheviks, who are arguing for the liquidation of the capitalist class, right?
0:49:14.1 DM: So I think we're gonna start to see the eco-fascist... Weird coalitions that don't make sense if we think in traditional binary left-right spectrums. We have to really start looking at this in a more three-dimensional way, where we can visualize these strange comings together and that overlaps that have... You can see it when you start to see, in their logic, why it makes sense to liquidate the capitalist class. You can be a white supremacist and be anti-capitalist at the same time, but that's gonna draw people to them from other kinds of movements. And so, I think same thing with anti-vax and anti-government extremists, they're coming together on one common theme or denominator, even though they're actually, the rest of their goals don't align. So I do think we're gonna start to see... I'd be surprised if we didn't... Start to see more political violence and terrorism coming from both these strange, strange, new kinds of coalitions, and also just more from what we had been seeing in the '70s and early '80s, whether that's environmental or anarchist or animal rights or anti-capitalist.
0:50:20.4 JA: Great, thanks for that, Cynthia. Stephanie, anything from the view in Canada?
0:50:25.6 DC: Yeah, this is a really interesting question. So... Sorry, if you hear my dog, he also has views. There's this... Canada, particularly in the '60s and '70s... I've heard it described as the hotbed of social rest. We didn't have a kind of traumatic experience like Vietnam that radicalized a lot of people, right? We didn't have that. So, in terms of far left... We actually had small far-right movements... The Edmund Burke Society, the Creativity Movement comes out of the '60s and '70s on the far right. But in terms of the far left, I mean... Yeah, there were some protests. The biggest, it's almost certainly, like I mentioned at the beginning, is the FLQ, the Front de libération du Québec, but that was so unpopular what they did. It actually hurt the cause of sovereignty, to a large extent in Québec, and I think they realized that, no, doing this is stupid, and so it lasted for two years. The people who were involved in that movement, it killed one person, they fled to Cuba, but then eventually they came back, served their time and they're now free. So yeah, we had in the '80s, there were some anti-apartheid movements... They poisoned some... They claimed to have poisoned some South African wine. There's was a group called The Squamish Five, which did, actually, try to attack, I think a hydroelectric plant. They blew... Oh, they fire bombed a bunch of pornography stores.
0:51:55.1 DC: So the kind of far-left violence hasn't really existed in Canada. The most recent thing you could possibly say was a group called the Résistance internationaliste, which is out of Québec. They bombed a hydro tower to kinda made it lean a bit, but didn't fall over... They did bomb a... Canadian Armed Forces recruitment center, and as well as the car of an oil executive. So... And then they've kind of disappeared. They were infiltrated by the RCMP, who then blew the investigation... Shocker. And then... You can laugh, Javed, 'cause you know what I'm talking about... Anyway... [laughter] It's like a whole other conference we can have... But yeah, so what we're seeing now from the left in Canada is really disruptive protest, but not what I would call extremist violence. So the big issue right now, is are people taking over railroad tracks and putting encampments on railroad tracks.
0:52:49.4 DC: That to me isn't extremist violence, it's a pain in the butt maybe if you're trying to get from one place to the other, but it's not that. I think, should resource extraction issues become a bigger issue in the next couple of years, the COVID kinda may be deflated it, there could be some more extremist violence from the left, we really aren't to my knowledge, seeing this movement, there's something called Deep Green Revolution. Again, didn't really see a lot. So I don't know, there is a movement, however, I think in kind of more conservative political groups to list Antifa, I don't know how you're ever gonna list them as a terrorist organization, it's not gonna work. But there is that movement, and I do worry that some of the more disruptive protests will be considered violent extremist activity, which I think in my view would be an abuse of terrorism laws.
0:53:39.8 JA: Yeah, thanks for that, Stephanie. And again, we haven't seen this manifestation of this ultra-violent far-left extremism yet, but I agree with Cynthia that it has the potential to go in that direction down the road. John, you've got your hand up and I know there's a question in the chatbox as well.
0:53:56.2 JC: Thanks. Yeah, I would love to ask a question. Thank you, first of all, Cynthia and Stephanie for those great presentations. My question is about the demographic evidence available about violent extremism. In my first encounters with this in the United States, the image I and I think many other people had was something like Timothy McVeigh. You've got some military-aged White male who's a little bit down and out economically, and not terribly well-educated, from a rural or area, or an ex-serv', but the January 6 protests challenge that a little bit. I think it's been striking some people, how many of the folks involved in that movement in that activity are people who have spouses and children, who are professional employees, and so on. I wonder what you could say about in Canada and the US, respectively, about what we know on the demographic profile of the people who are becoming involved in nationalist extremism, when they typically... What age is it typical that the people get involved in one of the sort of socio-economic and other aspects of the profile that we should be aware of?
0:55:05.5 DM: Well, historically in the US... It's a great question. And it's a great observation. It's absolutely true that these things are really different, the way I answer this right now is really different than how I would have answered it two years ago, the question about demographics. So historically, it's youth, meaning, and I define youth all the way up to age 35, men under the age of 35 who are most at risk for violent expressions of extremism and terrorism. That's where the data shows in the US, but also in a lot of other places in the world, and especially on the far right side, but in general, across various ideologies, youth are more prone to violence.
0:55:47.2 DM: That has changed, not just because of January 6, but all of the political violence, all of that strange political violence, and the odd coalitions that I've been talking about, that have really started even predating the pandemic itself just a little bit. The first major alarm bells that started to go off in my head were actually January 2020, but the 22000 people who showed up to protest Second Amendment rights in Richmond, Virginia. And luckily, nothing happened, but these heavily armed and incredibly heavily armed people showing up in large numbers... It was so clear it could have gone wrong. And that kind of risk of spontaneous violence, I think is really high right now. Whether that's with vehicle rammings or with shootings, someone hears something that sounds like a back-firing or one-shot goes off, and then all of a sudden you have a real blood bath. And so those kinds of things are drawing much older people and conspiracy theories like QAnon are drawing much older people and more women and more women from strange demographics like the wellness and the yoga communities who are rooted again in this alternative medicine space that rejects a lot of science and then rejects authority, and has made them a little bit ripe for manipulation in the conspiracy space.
0:57:06.0 DM: So one of the anecdotes I often tell is, When I really started to feel this, was I spent a lot of time talking to folks in the media, and most of my life, I've been talking about what parents and teachers can be doing to address youth radicalization and in the late summer of 2020, I fielded my first question, the first now of many from Teen Vogue, about what could they tell kids who are calling them and writing to them for help with their parents who are radicalizing? And you started... It was such a shocking question for me that it was a moment where I realized this is... We're entering a whole. This kids... We're entering a whole different world, these kids... And of course, my advice is also really different than it is for parents. 15-year-olds deserve a childhood and deserve safe adults, it's not their job to fix their parents. I have a really different set of advice for parents on what they can do and who they should go to for help, etcetera, but kids need to find another safe adult, so if you know a kid like that out there, it's... Find a better resource.
0:58:17.2 DM: It's not your job to try to fix your parents, and you're in an unsafe environment if your parents are radicalizing into a violent movement. So that has definitely changed, and we saw that on January 6, we've seen that in State Capitol protest, we've seen that on the unlawful martial side, we've seen it on the conspiracy side. The White supremacist extremism side, I think we're still primarily seeing younger actors be the ones who are responsible for violence, but that could change. We're not sure.
0:58:45.3 DC: Yeah, I'm not sure I would say too much that was different. I will say it, again, I talked briefly in my presentation about this woman, Romana Didulo, who is the self proclaimed queen of Canada, and I don't know if I should say that I'm watching her live chats, let's just say I've seen them, and that's actually a disturbing thing. She's gone from posting to actually interacting now with her followers in kind of a very cult-like fashion or new religious movement fashion, and you do worry about... But often she's just providing life advice to these people, and she's just telling them that they're gonna be okay. There was a woman, she was 33 years old, and she's like, "I've lost all my teeth. When the new order comes, am I gonna get my teeth back," and she's like, "Yes, you're gonna get your teeth back," and these kinds of things. And a lot of these people are older and they're trying to find out this whole strawman theory, or Ensura or whatever it is. The whole money, the fake bank account theory, I think, Cynthia, we talk about... Their promises of money, carrying illnesses and things like that.
0:59:54.9 DC: And this is really appealing to the baby boomers, right? This is what they want, this is what they think is coming. But yeah, there's a group here in Canada called Anti-Hate Canada. They call it Fashwave, which is this really almost punk aesthetic, but with fascist overtones that they push forward. And I think what we're seeing... So on the youth side, we're seeing, I would say, almost the Facebook-driven social media, January 6th style stuff. The youth are... I think they're smart. They're in it... Yeah, okay, occasionally you get to unite the right protest, but generally speaking, these are people who understand that they have to subvert conservative movements in order to bring about the kind of change that they want. And that's what they're working towards, and they're sticking to things like memes, and the drum they're gonna beat the loudest is cultural. And in parts of Canada, like Quebec, that's gonna have huge resonance and that's a concern going forward.
1:01:02.0 JA: Thanks, Cynthia and Stephanie, for those insights on John's question. We have one question from the chat. Alaina, I can turn it over to you if you're still on or I can read your question, so I'm gonna give you a second to unmute if you wanna jump in. Alaina, you're still on mute. Alright, just in the interest of time, I'm going to just read the question from Alaina. Her question is, "What is more dangerous for society: Open violent acts or deeply hidden violent thoughts?" I think I kinda understand the gist of the question.
1:01:57.5 DM: Yeah, I can try to take a stab at it. The US Government... So answering this for the US side, the US Government has very much focused on the violence, on the physical violence aspect of extremism and terrorism. So even when you look at the tiny net of prevention resources that are provided by the Federal Government, which is in the Department of Homeland Security, they do talk about prevention of radicalization, but it's always paired with violence, so it's radicalization to violence. So they're very careful for good reason, about not being accused of or feeling like they might be in the business of policing ideas or ideology. And that, I think in the US context around protection of the First Amendment and free speech, it is incredibly important. What I have been urging them to consider is that there are precursors to violence that are really important for us to combat, in terms of protection of democracy itself, that can create the fertile ground for violent ideas and ideologies to happen, and that includes things like disinformation, propaganda, conspiracy theories, persuasive tactics like scapegoating and fearmongering, that we can do more on the education side and we should be doing more on the education side to build digital literacy and media literacy tools and ways to work within communities and fund communities to create their own models and tools for working across the age spectrum.
1:03:36.8 DM: I used to say from fifth graders to 50-year-olds. To get back to John's demographic question, an editor told me yesterday, I have an op-ed coming out tomorrow that talks about this, we should change it to eighth graders to 80-year-olds, because everybody over 50 is not immune to this, which tells you a little bit about where we are on the demographic issue, so that we need this across the life course basically. And that's not just about violent ideas, but about the spread of things that are really dangerous, I think, to the undermining of democratic norms and practices. So it's been tough for the US to adopt that. But there are other countries... Again, in Germany, where I spent much of my career, this is the defense of democracy approach that are used, that actually the best way to combat an extremist fringe is by equipping the mainstream with the tools to be resilient against it, that you actually have to strengthen the mainstream against the overtures that will always come from the fringe. You can't eradicate that fringe, they'll always be there.
1:04:36.4 DM: And part of the task of ensuring how the democracy is strengthening mainstream from within. So it's a different approach, it means thinking more about resilience and less about risk, or in addition to risk, investing in resilience. And it's something that the US really hasn't done, I would say at all. Our model of prevention is the prevention of violence, which as I have often argued, means that our model of success in terms of the prevention definition is about how equipped we are to barricade the door. And it's called secondary prevention, it's bystander training, it's training for the security guards at the doors of the synagogue, it's how well we are prepared to thwart a violent attack, that's usually how prevention is defined and understood. And I'm not saying we shouldn't do that, but I just don't think it should be our measure of success, and that we need to be having more conversations with different agencies, with the Department of Ed, with the Department of Health and Human Services, with social workers, with mental health counselors, teachers about more primary forms of prevention as well.
1:05:39.6 DC: So in Canada, we are structurally slightly... By the way, I thank you for this question, it's kind of what I was getting at when I was like, what's the border line here? Where does the freedom of expression end and the national security risk begin? This is an issue. I think from the Canadian perspective, we're slightly better off because we have been... Well, first of all, we have a dedicated department to Canadian values, which is the Department of Canadian Heritage. And for years, I think... Well, Canadian Heritage was basically founded because no one knew anything about Canadian history, because it's Canada, it's boring and it's weird. So we actually... But they actually have the values mandate, so I always tell students, I'm like, "If you're interested in disinformation and countering it, don't work at CSIS, you'd wanna work at Canadian Heritage, because that's where these discussions are actually. That's where the policy solutions are being held. So that helps in some ways that you actually have a body.
1:06:36.6 DC: Now the problem is that has to be informed by national security, and we're kind of trying to learn how to have that conversation between the two bodies. We also have something called the Canada Center. The full name is the Canada Center for Community Engagement and Countering Radicalization of Violence, the CCPEVE, which sounds like some kind of communist volleyball team, but it's... So now it just goes by Canada Center, and they spend a lot of time researching prevention in the space. They actually work with... Their big counterpart in the US, I believe, is the National Institute of Justice. So they do a lot of work there. But yeah, so they've actually set up programs for people who... Sorry, I should say they fund programs in communities that are for people who may be going down a path that's not great.
1:07:32.1 DC: And so traditionally, we set up for, I have to say, the religiously motivated violent extremism, but is now increasingly... It's for the far right. It's predominately... The number one client base now in Quebec is 100% the far right. So we have some of these programs in place. They are not compulsory, but they are at least a path that you can offer people and their families in terms of how to potentially deal with this. We have very few metrics on how successful these kinds of programs are, but it is at least something that we have and we can evaluate hopefully more in the future and look forward to. So as to the question, what's more dangerous, it's... I would say the violent extremism is always gonna be more dangerous. You have the right to hold obnoxious views, the problem is when you act on it. But as Cynthia correctly states, there's a lot more we should be doing in the prevention space using a public health model, not a national security model, in order to try and counter this threat.
1:08:33.9 JA: And I'll just kinda jump in. And my own personal experience in government, I mean this was an issue that we just spent so much time on. In the years I was in government from post 9/11 to the late 2010s, mostly or almost exclusively, again on the Jihadist side of things, and it was just fits and starts along the way. We had a lot of hard working, smart people, big ideas, but we just couldn't sort of get a program together to do more on the prevention of Jihadist extremism, and maybe I think one of the lessons was, this might not be a role for the federal government. This is probably something that other kind of stakeholders are better equipped and maybe the best role for the federal government is to fund these programs and let them deliver the Programmatics or the content or whatever, but yeah, to try and have the folks... Formally, folks like myself, kind of on the hands on the steering wheel for this, it just didn't lead to the best outcome.
1:09:36.9 DM: Can I just add to that really quickly? 'Cause I think it's a really good point, and I think there's two things that are different now. One is that... So I totally saw that happening before, and I think one is that when the threat was primarily seen through the Jihadist lens, the prevention landscape was so much more fraught with issues of targeting and with civil rights and the fears of scape-goating whole communities who were themselves members of targeted groups and vulnerable. When we're talking about the threat coming from within ordinary citizens across, not just White Americans, but we really have a wide variety... Like a huge problem with people believing disinformation and propaganda, and not accepting election results, etcetera, etcetera.
1:10:26.5 DM: So to me, it's easier now, I think, if you just sort of say it's everybody. We don't have to target particular groups, we need it for everybody, we need it for early on. And the other thing I would say is, I totally agree with you. I think that part of the problem is that the federal government, one, it should be funding it, but the federal government historically has not had a very good multi-sector engagement of experts on the subject, so it's not like other federal governments are able to do it, but they involve... Like in Norway, it's a dozen agencies involved in their domestic violent extremism strategic plan. In Germany, I think it's nine agencies, so we're pretty much situated in the security space, and then we have trouble coming up with prevention ideas because those aren't the experts. We need people who are... And I say this as a professor of education, that I'm usually the only person in these rooms who comes from an education background, and so then it feels more glaring.
1:11:24.4 DM: Like, we just need more ideas in the room coming from other agencies, but maybe it is just an issue of funding and leaving it to local communities. My fear is that then those local communities will do the same thing, which is situate it in law enforcement security and local FBI offices, rather than leaning into therapists and social workers and youth workers and teachers and counselors.
1:11:48.6 JA: Stephanie, anything? I know we are almost out of time, so...
1:11:51.9 DC: I just wanna highlight. Yeah, I think one of the major flaws of our CV programs as they have been introduced, are a lot of them are affiliated with law enforcement, which may make people more... Families less reluctant to go ahead with that, and also the RCMP is not the best counter... They're not great at it. [chuckle] So that's the other problem too, is they don't have, I say, the right expertise. It should be more of a public health thing. The better models, I think, are the ones in Quebec which are psychologists and clinicians, and they do bring all those different local actors together to design specific programs for people. That takes a lot of time, a lot of money, and it's resource-intensive.
1:12:32.6 JA: Yeah, and it took us a long time at the FBI to realize, the bureau probably shouldn't be leading this mission. It's got other priorities, but prevention and CV is not one of them. Okay, John, I will hand the mic over to you. But thanks, Cynthia and Stephanie, for being with us. Hopefully, we'll get to see you again next spring as well.
1:12:53.2 JC: Yes, thank you very much for those great presentations and responses to the questions. We are delighted to be able to have two more webinars of this kind in our series on January 10th. We'll have one at the same hour on policy tools and frameworks for countering nationalist extremism. And on February 11th, we'll have our fourth in the series on new approaches to the topic, and so we hope that you'll all come back to join us and also look forward to an in-person colloquium in April. Thank you all very much, and have a great day.