ATA Macedonia participant at the workshop "The Role of Youth Against Terrorism and Violent Extremism in the Western Balkans” in Montenegro Print
Monday, 26 November 2018 13:03

In the period from 19.11.2018 to 21.11.2018, members of ATA Macedonia attended workshop "The Role of Youth Against Terrorism and Violent Extremism in the Western Balkans”. The event hosted participants from the Western Balkans countries in which the main goal was through panel discussions and two days workshop the participants to be introduced with this current threat.

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Radicalization of this region is a serious security issue for the countries of the region and demands strong cooperation between all actors who can stop this destructive influence. 

The opening speech was held by Mr. Brian Ebel, chargé d’affaires and political advisor of the Embassy of Canada for Serbia, Macedonia and Montenegro.

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The first activity of the day was the introduction lecture “Young and their potential inclusion in the world of terrorism”. Mr. Vlado Azinovic who is professor of political science at the University of Sarajevo held the lecture and introduced the participants with the process of radicalization. He emphasized how radicalization is a personal process and it doesn’t always manifest itself with violent measures. He also familiarized the participants with how radicalization is a slow process of accepting extreme and radical attitudes.

Next lecture was a case study of “The personal experience of Adam Deen in the process of de-radicalization”. The case study was presented by Mr. Adam Deen personally who is a former extremist. He explained his personal story of radicalization and his view is that “radicalization can happen to anybody and the tactics of these radical extremist is to exploit personal grievances in which the violence comes right at the end of the road”. He stated that in the process you are infused with a binary worldview and that the main driver is the ideology who encompasses all personal grievances. On a question which is the most counterproductive strategy in de-radicalization Mr. Deen answered that “ignoring the ideology behind the radicalization is the most counterproductive in the process of de-radicalization”.

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After the lunch break the first workshop entitled “The role of internet and social media in the process of radicalization” was presented by Ms. Jessie Hronešova who is a Program Manager for the Western Balkans at Aktis Strategy and associate at South East European Studies Oxford (SEESOX). Mr. Hronešova stated that radicalization is an online and offline process and underlined the current difficulties of tracking these individuals on the internet. She introduced the participants with the techniques of tracking radical views on the web and presented five hypothesis which the participants should try to investigate and approach with the techniques presented at the workshop.

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The following day started with a panel discussion named “Terrorism treats of Western Balkans countries” which was held by Professor Vlado Azinovic and Mr. Veselin Veljovic who is Director of Police for Montenegro. At the panel were presented couple of cases of young people who were radicalized and went to fight on foreign battlegrounds. Many of these cases were with tragic consequences and Professor Azinovic stated that the greatest danger comes from the radicals which wanted to go on foreign battlegrounds but didn’t get the chance. According to him these individuals have the strongest will to make action and are most dangerous for the Western Balkans countries.

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After the first panel followed the second workshop entitled “The influence of religion in the process of radicalization”. The workshop was presented by Professor Boris Brajovic from the Serbian Orthodox Church and Džemo Redžematovic from the Islamic Religious Community of Montenegro. Both lecturers made introduction in the role of the religious communities in these processes and stated that is necessary to counter these influences with the true interpretation of their religions.

The attendees from ATA Macedonia were:

Mr. Ilija Djugumanov, President of YATA Macedonia
Mr. Andrej Acevski, Member of YATA Macedonia

The event was organized by the Atlantic council of Montenegro in partnership with the Embassy of Canada for Serbia, Macedonia and Montenegro.

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