DCU centre will track jihadists online

Credit: www.dcu.ie

The DCU Institute for International Conflict Resolution and Reconstruction (IICRR) endeavours to analyse prevalent global and national conflicts and has ran multiple million-euro projects since it’s inception in 2012.

The Northern Ireland peace process, the online patterns of violent extremism and the history of the Soviet Union are just three of the areas the institute has conducted research into. The European Union is one of the IICRR’s biggest sources of capital.

The institute was a pre-recessionary concept from the Government that was halted as a result of the economic crash.

“Before the financial crash the Government had planned to set up an institute for conflict resolution in Ireland as part of the legacy of the Northern Ireland peace process,” Director of the IICRR, Dr John Doyle said. “They set aside €25 million to do it and then 2007 happened and obviously all public expenditure that wasn’t already committed was gone. Ultimately we decided the chances of the government funding this were almost nil.”

Research into the rise of the Islamic State and their utilisation of the internet along with the online activity of other extremist groups, is a multi-million euro project for the institute.

“We run a six million euro project on online radicalisation, on extremists’ use of the internet not just jihadi groups,” Doyle explained

“Young people who would never come across someone who would be of extremist views whether they are a nazi or a jihadi, do have the opportunity to meet them via social media and can build up a relationship. It’s now at the level that people are actually becoming radicalised through online platforms.” Through research, the IICRR is “trying to understand a way to design better counter-measures whether it is in the social media space or an education space,” Doyle said.

Katie O’Neill

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