Jake Davison attack must be classed 'domestic terrorism', expert claims

14 August 2021, 13:44

By Seán Hickey

The Plymouth shootings should be considered terrorism, as extremist misogynistic 'incel' ideology was behind it according to this online extremism expert.

Matthew Wright put to Imran Ahmed, Chair of the Centre for Countering Digital Hate that "police could have framed" the Plymouth shootings "as a domestic terrorism event" but chose not to.

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He asked Mr Ahmed what he thought about "the notion of labelling, or mislabelling something as domestic terrorism?" The extremism expert believed that such a title "sends a message."

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"I would call this a domestic terrorism incident.

"The reason being is this is a political-- there is a political ideology that underpins it, which is that women should be in a subjugated position in society, that they're willing to use violence."

He went on to tell Matthew that his organisation was monitoring the activity on Jake Davison's YouTube account shortly after the attacks and "saw people flocking there to say 'congratulations, this man is a martyr.'"

He made the case that this "literal glorification of violence" warranted the group that Mr Davison is part of to be granted terror status.

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"If you have a cause and you're willing to use violence for it, if other adherents glorify it, what else is that but terrorism?"

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Dissecting the tragic attacks, Matthew pointed out that "so many emblematic aspects of right wing or neo-con behaviour are represented here" by the incel ideology displayed by Mr Davison.

Mr Ahmed noted that incel culture "constantly affects people with misogynistic rhetoric, misogynistic ideas which drags people into their world view" and oftentimes seeps into mainstream sociopolitical narratives.

He added that such rhetoric is "laced throughout" other political movements, in particular the Proud Boys in America.

Mr Ahmed concluded by telling Matthew that "we're seeing new forms of extremism emerge" and detection becomes more and more difficult.