Frustrated by the limits of an outsider’s perspective, counter-extremism expert Julia Ebner secretly infiltrated five fanatical groups. She joined the How To Academy Podcast to reveal her journey into the darkest recesses of extremist thinking.
By day, Julia Ebner works at a counter-extremism think tank, monitoring radical groups from the outside, but two years ago, she began to feel that she was only seeing half the picture. She needed to get inside the groups to truly understand them. So she decided to go undercover in her spare hours – late nights, holidays, weekends – adopting five different identities, and joining a dozen extremist groups from across the ideological spectrum.
Her journey would take her from a Generation Identity global strategy meeting in a pub in Mayfair, to a Neo-Nazi Music Festival on the border of Germany and Poland. She would get relationship advice from ‘Trad Wives’ and Jihadi Brides and hacking lessons from ISIS. She was in the channels when the alt-right began planning the lethal Charlottesville rally, and spent time in the networks that would radicalise the Christchurch terrorist.
On this episode of the How To Academy Podcast, Julia reveals what she discovered on her terrifying and illuminating journey. She exposes how closely we are surrounded by their fanatical ideology every day, the changing nature and practice of these groups, and what is being done to counter them.