ICPVTR Webinar on Understanding Incels: Angry Young Men or Terrorist Movement? by Dr Bruce Hoffman and Mr Jacob Ware
In recent years, increasingly serious incidents of violence have been committed by young men predominantly in the United States and Canada who self-identify as incels (involuntary celibates). Although these attacks often specifically target women who are the principal source of their animus, men as well as children, have been among the casualties in the series of shootings and vehicular homicides that have occurred at universities, high schools, shopping malls, and on city streets. Although the incel worldview is not obviously political, its core ethos entails the subjugation and repression of a group and its violence is designed to have far-reaching societal effects. Accordingly, incel violence arguably conforms to an emergent trend in terrorism with a more salient hate crime dimension that necessitates greater scrutiny and analysis—especially as it spreads to Europe and shows similarities to and has nascent connections with other terrorist movements.
Bruce Hoffman has been studying terrorism and insurgency for over four decades. He is a professor at Georgetown University’s Walsh School of Foreign Service where he directs the Center for Jewish Civilization. Hoffman is also the Shelby Cullom and Kathryn W. Davis Senior Fellow for Counterterrorism and Homeland Security at the Council on Foreign Relations, and the George H. Gilmore Senior Fellow at the U.S. Military Academy’s Combating Terrorism Center. He previously held the Corporate Chair in Counterterrorism and Counterinsurgency at the RAND Corporation and co-founded and was the first director of St Andrews University’s Centre for the Study of Terrorism and Political Violence, where he is currently visiting Professor of Terrorism Studies. Hoffman was appointed a commissioner on the 9/11 Review Commission by the U.S. Congress and has been Scholar-in-Residence for Counterterrorism at the Central Intelligence Agency; adviser on counterterrorism to the Coalition Provisional Authority, Baghdad, Iraq; and, adviser on counterinsurgency to Multi-National Forces-Iraq Headquarters, Baghdad, Iraq. He is a recipient of the United States Intelligence Community Seal Medallion, the highest level of commendation given to a non-government employee, and the author of the award-winning book, Anonymous Soldiers (2015). Hoffman’s most recent books include Inside Terrorism (3rd edition, 2017), cited as one of the 25 most notable books published by Columbia University Press on the occasion of its 125th anniversary; and, The Evolution of the Global Terrorist Threat (2014). He holds degrees in government, history, and international relations and received his doctorate from Oxford University.
Jacob Ware is the research associate for counterterrorism at the Council on Foreign Relations and a graduate of Georgetown University’s Security Studies Program and the University of St Andrews.
Kumar Ramakrishna is Associate Professor, Associate Dean for Policy Studies, Research Adviser to National Security Studies Programme and Head of the International Centre for Political Violence and Terrorism Research (ICPVTR) at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS), Nanyang Technological University (NTU), Singapore. He has published in numerous internationally refereed journals and co-edited two well-received books on counter-terrorism, The New Terrorism: Anatomy, Trends and Counter-Strategies (2002) as well as After Bali: The Threat of Terrorism in Southeast Asia (2004). He is also the author of numerous single-authored books including Original Sin? Revising the Revisionist Critique of the 1963 Operation Coldstore in Singapore (2015) and Singapore Chronicles: Emergency (2016).