About Johnny Ryan
Johnny Ryan is senior researcher at the Institute of European Affairs, a policy think-tank in Dublin, with offices in Brussels.
Articles by Johnny Ryan
This week's editor
Mandela: the global icon
"The people have spoken." The pithy comment of the Republic of Ireland's justice minister Dermot Ahern as the votes were being counted from the country's referendum on the European Union's "reform treaty" on 12 June 2008 acknowledges both the victory of the "no" camp and the fact that the outcome (by a decisive margin of 54%-46%) poses anew questions about the way the EU and its twenty-seven member-states relate to their citizens.
On 27 April 2007 a blizzard of distributed
"denial-of-service" attacks hit important websites in Estonia and continued
until at least as late as mid-June. The targets included the website of the
president, parliament, leading ministries, political parties, major news
outlets, and Estonia's two dominant banks, which were rendered unable to interact with customers.
European Union member-state governments are increasingly aware of the danger of terrorism perpetrated within their own borders - sometimes by their own citizens. From late 2005 onwards, the European commission and justice and home affairs (JHA) council of ministers have rightly begun to place a high priority on curbing radicalisation and recruitment into terrorism, particularly on the internet. The latest manifestation of these efforts is the presentation by the European commission on 6 November 2007 of a new "counter-terrorism package". Its proposals will be voted upon at the next JHA council on 8-9 November.
On the internet, in gymnasiums, bookshops and video-clubs, recruitment propaganda is viewed by and debated among prospective Islamist militants. This wide-ranging material contains four recurrent themes; understanding them is the first step to forming an effective counter-narrative to dissuade the next generation of would-be militants from embracing violence, and channelling their energies and ideas into democratic routes of political and religious persuasion.
Johnny Ryan is a senior researcher at the Institute of European Affairs, a policy think-tank in Dublin, with offices in Brussels.
He is the author of Countering Militant Islamist Radicalisation on the Internet: A User Driven Strategy to Recover the Web (Institute of European Affairs, 2007). His blog is here