Profs at Arizona State help US military target groups engaging in “symbolic and discursive violence”
EXPOSED: PENTAGON FUNDS NEW DATA-MINING TOOLS TO TRACK AND KILL ACTIVISTS, PART II
BY NAFEEZ MOSADDEQ AHMED
The Pentagon’s multimillion dollar Minerva research program to fund social science research for military applications includes a flagship project established in 2009 at Arizona State University (ASU) to examine “radical” and “counter-radical” Muslim movements in Southeast Asia, West Africa and Western Europe.
The project’s “expert wisdom gathering tool,” used by academics involved in the project to assess and rank the threat-level from organizations and civil society groups, set its sights on the UK, Germany, France, Europe generally, Nigeria, Niger, Senegal, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and the Philippines.
Although purportedly designed to assess Islamic movements, among the 36 UK organizations targeted for ranking on the tool’s “radicalization” scale are several non-Muslim activist groups critical of US, British and Israeli foreign policy. A deeper analysis of the criteria used by the project to label organizations discloses serious deficiencies that tend to cast suspicion of propensity for violence on any group calling for radical social, political or religious change.