Arising from my work in intelligence agencies, the press, and politics, I act as external consultant for CAGE – a UK advocacy group for the rights of Bush-era torture-intelligence detainees in the War on Terror. To date this has involved consultation on:
a) public and political engagement (eg formulating petitions, signing open letters);
b) participating in focus group to provide knowledge of intelligence agencies’ media and PR strategies to counter negative press coverage and pressure from the security state (eg regarding CAGE’s public comments on ‘Jihadi John’ having been turned violent by MI5). I am the un-named academic in the Emwazi External Review document (2015)
c) advising on reports and research that informs critique of public policy regarding Prevent and Channel ( am named as a reviewer in The Science of Pre-Crime (2016).) Cage contacted me to explain that they needed independent academic evaluation of a report they had written on the secret research base underpinning Channel’s ERG22+ (extremist risk guidelines). I evaluated their report, and associated academic articles on which it was based, and wrote a piece for Open Democracy about the problems with secret research that informs policy, drawing parallels with the Bush era detention and interrogation programme. I also signed the open letter to the Guardian calling for the secret research base to be made public.