It is 15 years since UK was hit by the al Qaeda directed July 7 2005 attack on London’s public transport system, and the terrorist threat that the UK faces has evolved dramatically. From networked plots directed by al Qaeda, the threat picture is now dominated by lone actors using knives and fake bombs, while the ideological picture has become confused and fluid. Drawing on data from successful and disrupted plots, Raffaello Pantucci will sketch out what the threat picture looks like since the beginning of the war on Syria, highlighting its evolution through attack planning. The discussion will try to draw out some of the current trends, while asking questions about where the threat picture might be going.
Raffaello Pantucci is a Visiting Senior Fellow at ICPVTR in RSIS. He is also a Senior Associate Fellow at the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) in London where he served previously as Director of International Security Studies. His research focuses on terrorism and counter-terrorism as well as China’s relations with its Western neighbours. Prior to joining RUSI in London in 2013, Raffaello lived for almost four years in Shanghai, where he was a visiting scholar at the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences (SASS). Before that, he worked in London at the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS), and prior to that at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in Washington. He has also held positions at the European Council of Foreign Relations (ECFR) and the International Center for the Study of Radicalisation (ICSR) at King’s College, London. He is the author of We Love Death As You Love Life: Britain’s Suburban Terrorists (London: Hurst, April 2015/US: Oxford University Press, September 2015), described by The Financial Times as ‘the most articulate and carefully researched account of Britain’s ‘suburban terrorists’ to date.’ His work has been cited in the UK’s Counter-Terrorism strategy CONTEST and al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula’s Inspire magazine. His journal articles have appeared in Survival, The National Interest, Studies in Conflict and Terrorism, Terrorism and Political Violence, and RUSI Journal amongst others, and his journalistic writing has appeared in the New York Times, Financial Times, Wall Street Journal, Sunday Times, CNN, Guardian, Foreign Policy, South China Morning Post, and more.
Kumar Ramakrishna is Associate Professor, Associate Dean, 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).