An update on BUCSIS’s activities over the past few months from Professor Anthony Glees and Dr Julian Richards

26 January 2015

Anthony writes: As director of BUCSIS since 2008 I’ve seen the Centre achieve a national and international reputation when it comes to our analysis of intelligence-led security activity, whether in the UK or more widely.

BUCSIS’s reputation is a matter of twofold importance. First of all, it demonstrates that what we research into, and the teaching that we derive from it, has a very wide appeal. It helps us to recruit our excellent students. At any one time we can boast twenty world class MA students, from all over the world, as well as ten world class MPhil and DPhil students.

We are really pleased to announce that, in view of its past success, the University of Buckingham has allowed BUCSIS to appoint two new full time lecturers. Both are scholars of distinction with international reputations and awards.

Dr Stephanie Dornschneider joins us from the University of Durham where she is currently a Junior Research Fellow in the Global Security Institute which is part of the School of Government and International Affairs. She is already an acknowledged expert on jihadist networks and what lies behind their creation with a unique and enviable record of grants and scholarships.

Dr Victor Madeira comes to us from Cambridge (where he has been a lecturer and tutor for four years, working with Professor Christopher Andrew and Sir Richard Dearlove) and the Institute for Statecraft in London, directed by Chris Donnelly, where he is a Senior Fellow working on 21st Century security architecture. He is a scholar of high distinction, with numerous awards, regarded as one of the UK’s best experts on Russia.

In due course, both Steffi and Victor will have their own webpages on the BUCSIS site. We await their contribution to our work with considerable anticipation!

But our reputation does not simply serve as a recruiting sergeant for us. It also allows us to make a real contribution to the academic and public discussion of our subject, to be listened to.

To take the past few days, for example, ones that started with the horrifying murders of to date 17 people in Paris by a small cell of Islamist terrorists at the offices of Charlie Hebdo in Paris, I have been asked for interviews by the BBC News Channel, The Daily Mail, BBC Radio Scotland, LBC (where I followed an interview given by my colleague Dr Julian Richards!) as well as regional BBC local radio stations. On the following days, I did TV and radio interviews for ABC Australian TV News, BBC World Service TV News, BBC News Channel, BBC Persian Service TV News, Channel News Asia in Singapore, BBC Radio Four (World At One), BBC Radio Two (The Jeremy Vine programme), RTE Ireland Prime Time News and further media interviews for The Daily Mail, The Daily Express, The Press Association, The Scotsman, Gulf News, the Jewish Chronicle and The Daily Beast.

For further outlets, over two thousand with me since 2010, please check the Google News tab under my name and that of Dr Julian Richards.

Each of these interviews stems directly from the reputation BUCSIS has for timely and, above all, accurate analysis. Because the University of Buckingham is a university wholly independent of any state funding, the BUCSIS team can speak as they find. It’s a big challenge especially when horrifying events are unfolding. Lives can even depend on our accuracy and on the emphasis we decide to give to what is going on.

We feel proud of our record of reliability. On 28 December 2014, for example, The Sunday Times gave a column to a Royal United Services Institute analyst. Looking forward to 2015 he predicted ‘Reduced Terror’, citing the growing number of ‘lone wolf’ attacks which he said proved ‘we are actually safer from the threat of terrorism’ (on the grounds that larger Al-Qaeda attacks were much harder to envisage). He was worried about the isolated attacks by Islamists on French Christmas shoppers prior to the festivities but said ‘[these] must be kept in context. Terrorist groups continue to want to attack the West yet find it increasingly hard to do so’. BUCSIS analysts demonstrably took a very different line.

Equally, many academics have spoken out against the interception of communications by GCHQ and MI5 and against the idea that ISPs and Mobile Phone companies should be required to keep communications data for long enough to be mined in a targeted way if needed. Both Julian and I gave invited evidence to Parliament’s Intelligence and Security Committee in October 2014 arguing that lawful interception of electronic messages and data mining did not undermine the liberties of law-abiding people, it sustained them You can read our evidence on the BUCSIS website. Next week, the Rt Hon Hazel Blears PC MP, a member of the Intelligence and Security Committee has invited Anthony Glees and Steffi Dornschneider to a roundtable discussion on radicalisation in the light of recent terrorist attacks in France and Belgium.

Like all academics, the BUCSIS team try to balance their commitment to careful tutorial teaching and stimulating lectures with a programme of research and writing. Here you can see some of our most recent publications and learn, too, of the large number of highly distinguished national and international experts who accept our invitation to come to BUCSIS and discuss their thinking with us and above all with our students.

Publications: Anthony Glees

Anthony Glees ‘Islamist Terrorism and British Universities’ in Colin Murray-Parkes ed Responses to Terrorism Routledge, 2014 ISBN 978-0-415-6855 hbk 978-0-415-70624-7 pbk pp 144-151

Anthony Glees

Anthony Glees

Anthony Glees

Anthony Glees ‘Privacy and Security’ Invited Submission to the Intelligence and Security Committee of Parliament 8 February 2014

Anthony Glees “The Future of Intelligence Studies.” Journal of Strategic Security Vol. 6, no. 3 (2013) pp 124-127

Anthony Glees ‘A Common European Security and Defence Policy’ in Euroblog 18 December 2013

Anthony Glees ‘The Guardian is Playing a Foolish Game with National Security’
16 Oct 2013

Anthony Glees ‘Europe’s Response to Snowden has been a massive Overreaction’ 4 Nov 2013; republished for the USA as 6 November 2013

Anthony Glees ‘International Terrorism’ February 2013

Distinguished Visitors to BUCSIS in 2014 have included

Professor Gary Sheffield
Detective Chief Superintendent and Head of Force Intelligence and Special Operations, Richard List
Simon Saintclaire-Abbott and Sheneem McCallum, Cabinet Office, Whitehall
Reverend Canon Dr Michael Bourdeaux, founder of Keston College, Oxford
Shiv Malik, The Guardian
Mark Bishop, National Crime Agency
Gill Bennett MA, OBE, FRHistS
Michael Clarke, National Offender Management Service
Francis Morgan, Security Director Heathrow Airport, London
Sheldon Shulman, Tel Aviv University
Sir Nicholas Barrington KCMG CVO, formerly British High Commissioner in Pakistan
Ian Acheson, Chief Operating Officer for the Equality and Human Rights Commission
Stephen Gale, formerly deputy director of GCHQ
Prof Jan-Hendrik Dietrich, Intelligence Department, Federal University for Administration, Munich
Prof Markus Denzler, Intelligence Department, Federal University for Administration, Munich
Dr Bodo Hechelhammer, Chief Historian, Federal German Intelligence Service (BND)

Official Meetings (host):

Invited to Global Strategy Forum (Marquess of Lothian PC QC DL)
Meeting with Members of the Intelligence Oversight Committee of the Federal German Parliament (Norbert Stier, deputy chief of the German Intelligence Service)
Wilton Park Conference on future of Britain in Europe (Dr Hans Blomeier)
Oxford Conference on European Security Policy (Bernd Weber)
European Ideas Network conference, Albufeira, Portugal (Jaime Mayor Oreja MEP)
Cabinet Office/Brunel University, Workshop on ‘Ten Years after the Butler Review’ (Prof Phil Davies)