Hi there, my name is Edwin Bakker and together with Jeanine de Roy van Zuijdewijn, we are your instructors on this course on terrorism and counterterrorism. We're very excited to start this course with all of you, and all of you means thousands of people from countries all over the world. We hope to profit from the diverse background of you all, when we discuss terrorism-related issues on the course forum and at other opportunities, where we can engage and share ideas. We hope that together we will learn more about terrorism and counterterrorism, but also about differences, different opinions, different ideas and experiences regarding these phenomena. Before we'll tell you more about the course, let us first tell you who we are. Well, I'm a professor in terrorism and counterterrorism studies at the Institute of Security and Global Affairs at Leiden University in the Netherlands. I'm also working at the Netherlands police academy, where I'm heading the knowledge and research department. And I have a background in political geography, human geography, and conflict studies. I've lectured at several Dutch universities. I've also work at a think tank, as well as centers for professional learning. My research focus is on security issues in general and terrorism related issues in particular. And in recent years, I was very much interested in the foreign fighter phenomenon, people who traveled to Syria and Iraq to join the violent jihad. But with a background in think tanks and to police academy, I guess my research is often rather policy-oriented. So that's about me. Jeanine, can you say a little bit more about yourself? Yeah, Thanks. Edwin I'm an assistant professor at the Institute of Security and Global Affairs of Leiden University as well and a research fellow at the International Center for Counter-Terrorism, the ICCT. My background is in Liberal Arts and Sciences, kind of an interdisciplinary background, with a focus on political history and international relations. and I joined this research institute back in 2013, where I've also completed my PhD research. And my main focus has been on how authorities and citizens respond to terrorism. So more about the impact of terrorism on societies. I've also conducted research into the foreign fighter phenomenon and also done quite a bit on lone-actor terrorism. And in my academic work I tried to make the connection also with the wider and policy-oriented audiences. So for instance, I am part of the steering committee of the European expert network on terrorism issues, that brings together academics, police experts and also people working in intelligence across the EU. Well as you can hear we share a lot of research interests. lone-actor terrorism, foreign fighters, and we also worked a lot together, published articles, a book together. We also teach together and I'm also very excited that we together now provide this course for you. So let us tell you a little bit more about where we are right now. Well, this is the studio of the campus, The Hague, the main campus of Leiden University in the city of The Hague. Main campus of Leiden University, which was founded in 1575, and it's the oldest and one of the largest universities in the Netherlands. But today we are actually in the building of the youngest and perhaps most innovative faculty of this university, the faculty of governance and global affairs. Why is this located in the Hague? Well, The Hague is the location of the Dutch government, various ministries as well as over 200 international organizations, many NGOs, and private actors that are active in the field of security, peace, and justice. In fact, the Hague is known as the international city of peace, security, and justice. Well, now that we've told you a bit more about who we are, where we are. Let's move to the course philosophy and the course contents. So in the first week of this course, we discuss the definition and the essence of terrorism. and that's followed by a session that looks into the field of terrorism and counterterrorism studies. So different literature, different scholars. and from what we discuss there, we derive five assumptions on terrorism and five assumptions on counterterrorism. And these assumptions we're going to compare with empirical evidence and expert opinions to see if they actually can be considered true or that we should perhaps regard them as myth. Well, in the last part of the course, we'll look into how to deal with the impact of terrorism on societies. And we end with a reflection on trends and developments, in relation to terrorism and counterterrorism and the future of terrorism studies as well. So that's basically what we're going to do in terms of the weeks of this course. Now what we also find very important to emphasize is that this course is not about telling you the answers to questions about terrorism and counterterrorism. What we aim to provide you with an overview of some of the main views, some of the main discussions in terrorism and counterterrorism studies, and show how and where scholars agree, but also disagree. And we encourage everyone to adopt a critical attitude. Our opinion is not so important. We aim to provide you the tools to make up your own mind. You will also be able to discuss these issues with each other in discussion threads, discussion fora, we have several ways that you can meet each other and share ideas. And it's very important that there's no right and wrong, as you do so in a respectful way. So share ideas. You can also disagree, but be respectful. There's so much you can learn from each other, being from many different backgrounds, many different countries. So you can learn from each other and we can also learn a lot from you. In addition to the videos and discussing these issues with each other, you find a number of readings on this course platform, and you have to study these readings in order to pass the quizzes and actually finish the course. And there's also a handbook that was specifically designed for this course that we made. We highly recommend you to use that handbook because it contains a lot more details, a lot of additional literature and tips and tricks on, if you want to know more about many of the issues that we discuss. Now that we told you a bit more about who we are, where we are, and what the course would look like. And we hope that you will enjoy it, Edwin, what will you say to the students now? Well, welcome all to this course on terrorism and counterterrorism, comparing theory and practice. Well, let's get started. Yes. See you soon.