In­ter­na­tional counter-ter­ror­ism ex­pert Jo­lene Jer­ard is the key­note speaker at the CBAFF con­fer­ence in May and is ex­pected to open del­e­gates’ eyes to the threat of ter­ror­ism on the world’s lo­gis­tics in­dus­try.

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In­ter­na­tional counter ter­ror­ism ex­pert Jo­lene Jer­ard is key­note speaker at the CBAFF con­fer­ence in May.

Jo­lene Jer­ard’s am­bi­tion was to be­come an air­force pilot. It was a plan which ul­ti­mately led her into a dif­fer­ent ca­reer, as a lead­ing ex­pert in the field of global po­lit­i­cal vi­o­lence and ter­ror­ism.

“I first be­came in­ter­ested in the ter­ror­ist threat in the af­ter­math of the 9/11 at­tacks – while I was in Sin­ga­pore,” said Jer­ard, who will be key­note speaker at the 2015 Cus­toms Bro­kers and Freight For­warders Fed­er­a­tion (CBAFF) con­fer­ence in Welling­ton in May.

“I was do­ing my pri­vate li­cence with a pri­vate fly­ing school. When the 9/11 at­tacks hap­pened the fly­ing school car­ried out checks on its stu­dents. That made me look more closely into the is­sue of ter­ror­ism and led me into an aca­demic ca­reer.”

Jer­ard gained an MSc in Strate­gic Stud­ies with a cer­tifi­cate in Ter­ror­ism

Stud­ies from S. Ra­jarat­nam School of In­ter­na­tional Stud­ies at Nanyang Tech­no­log­i­cal Univer­sity in Sin­ga­pore (ICPVTR). She is cur­rently com­plet­ing her PhD at the Univer­sity of St An­drews, Scot­land, UK and is an As­so­ci­ate Re­search Fel­low and Man­ager at the school’s In­ter­na­tional Cen­tre for Po­lit­i­cal Vi­o­lence and Ter­ror­ism Re­search.

The cen­tre is one of the largest counter ter­ror­ism re­search and train­ing cen­tres in the world. It mon­i­tors ex­trem­ist groups op­er­at­ing in Asia, the Mid­dle East and Africa. Jer­ard is re­spon­si­ble for the South­east Asia desk which mon­i­tors ex­trem­ist web­sites for the re­gion.

She also pro­vides train­ing in­ter­na­tion­ally, of­fer­ing a strate­gic in­sight into the cur­rent ter­ror­ist threat en­vi­ron­ment for se­cu­rity and law en­force­ment agen­cies.

She has been a Vis­it­ing Re­search Fel­low at the Cen­tre for Con­flict and Peace Stud­ies in Afghanistan and con­ducted field re­search in sev­eral threat zones in­clud­ing Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Ye­men and Southern Thai­land.

In con­nec­tion with her work she has in­ter­viewed lead­ers and mem­bers of threat groups in­clud­ing politico-re­li­gious and ethno-na­tion­al­ist groups, of­ten car­ry­ing out in­ter­views in pris­ons.

Jer­ard says her pre­sen­ta­tion to the con­fer­ence will in­clude how ter­ror­ists have ex­ploited lo­gis­tics routes in the past to move weapons and sup­plies. She will also ex­plore fu­ture threats the lo­gis­tics in­dus­try could face from ter­ror­ist and ex­trem­ist groups such as the po­ten­tial for ter­ror­ists to ex­ploit cy­ber net­works.

“I will be fo­cus­ing on sev­eral as­pects of the cur­rent threat and as­pects of how the lo­gis­tics in­dus­try has been used in the past. I will be em­pha­sis­ing the cur­rent threat and how to strengthen se­cu­rity in­fra­struc­ture round the lo­gis­tics in­dus­try,” she says.

That will in­clude look­ing at ISIS and its im­pact on Asia Pa­cific in par­tic­u­lar, im­pli­ca­tions for the sec­tor and how ISIS has used so­cial me­dia net­works as a plat­form for rad­i­cal­i­sa­tion.

“The evo­lu­tion of the in­dus­try has cre­ated a new threat with the po­ten­tial for ter­ror­ists to hack into cy­ber net­works. Se­cu­rity gaps hap­pen and I will be dis­cussing is­sues such as se­cu­rity fa­tigue. That isn’t unique to the lo­gis­tics in­dus­try, but when se­cu­rity in­spec­tors are sub­jected to con­stant stim­u­lus, there’s a risk they may some­times let their guard down.”

Jer­ard’s ar­eas of in­ter­est also ex­tend to re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion of ter­ror­ists. She is coau­thor of Ter­ror­ism Re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion and Counter-Rad­i­cal­i­sa­tion: New Ap­proaches to Counter Ter­ror­ism (2012).

“At the cen­tre we are look­ing at what modes of re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion could be used to en­gage ter­ror­ist de­tainees with the hope that they can even­tu­ally be in­te­grated back into society. Speak­ing to de­tainees helps pro­vide in­sight into how ide­ol­ogy is af­fect­ing ter­ror­ist groups and move­ments,” she says.

“I have pro­vided train­ing pro­grammes around re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion, rein­te­gra­tion, com­mu­nity en­gage­ment and re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion of ter­ror­ists. In con­nec­tion with this work I have in­ter­viewed ter­ror­ist lead­ers. A lot of this work is with ter­ror­ists who are in­car­cer­ated in prison.”

Jer­ard is also a par­tic­i­pant in the Ter­ror­ism Re­search Ini­tia­tive (TRI) which pub­lishes the Per­spec­tives on Ter­ror­ism on­line jour­nal. This pro­vides a plat­form for schools, pro­fes­sion­als and those en­ter­ing the field of study of ter­ror­ism, po­lit­i­cal vi­o­lence and con­flict stud­ies to share their re­search and in­sights.

The Art of Trade and Lo­gis­tics

CBAFF im­me­di­ate past pres­i­dent Wil­lie van Heus­den said he was de­lighted Ms Jer­ard had agreed to be key­note speaker, hav­ing heard her speak at the FIATA 2013 con­fer­ence.

“To quote the ses­sion or­gan­iser for FIATA 2013 ‘With­out any doubt, this ex­tremely in­ter­est­ing and riv­et­ing pre­sen­ta­tion left the floor al­most speech­less’,” says van Heus­den.

This year’s con­fer­ence ‘The Art of Trade and Lo­gis­tics’ will be held at the Ry­dges Ho­tel in Welling­ton from May 5-7. It is the only event of its kind in New Zealand to bring to­gether those work­ing within the sec­tor.

This year’s speak­ers will also in­clude, among oth­ers, Mark Cairns, chief ex­ec­u­tive of Port of Tau­ranga; Michael Papesch, group man­ager pol­icy for NZ Cus­toms; Shayne Bay­ley, man­ager, devel­op­ment, at the Min­istry of Civil De­fence & Emer­gency Man­age­ment; and Ken Shirley, CEO of the NZ Road Trans­port Fo­rum.

Themes of the con­fer­ence will in­clude em­brac­ing greater in­te­gra­tion of the global sup­ply chain, chang­ing busi­ness mod­els to take ad­van­tage of chang­ing mar­ket con­di­tions and look­ing be­yond China and en­hanc­ing New Zealand’s ex­port po­si­tion­ing.

For book­ing de­tails see cbaff.org.nz

Jo­lene Jer­ard: “When se­cu­rity in­spec­tors are sub­jected to con­stant stim­u­lus, there’s a risk they may some­times let their guard down.”

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