De-Radicalizing the Taliban's Child Militants: A View from Swat Valley

03 Apr 2013


Pakistan’s Swat Valley and the brutal legacy of the Taliban’s recruitment of child militants will be the focus of a talk by Dr. John Horgan, director of the International Center for the Study of Terrorism (ICST) at Penn State. The event will be held from 5-6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, April 3, in the Alumni Fireside Lounge at the Nittany Lion Inn on Penn State’s University Park campus. Horgan’s talk, titled “De-Radicalizing the Taliban’s Child Militants: A View from Swat Valley,” is free and open to the public.

Horgan and fellow ICST researcher Dr. Mia Bloom recently returned from a trip to Swat Valley. Beginning in 2007, the valley’s inhabitants were victim to a brutal reign of terror from the Pakistani Taliban, leaving a legacy of trauma to the region since the Pakistani Army’s offensive in 2009 to rid the region of Taliban control. The primary purpose of Horgan and Bloom’s trip to Pakistan was to visit Sabaoon, a rehabilitation center for child militants who once belonged to the Taliban. Horgan will describe the children’s day-to-day life in the Taliban, as well as the challenges faced by workers at Sabaoon to de-radicalize the children and discourage re-engagement with the terrorist group.

Dr. John Horgan, ICST Director, is associate professor of psychology in the College of the Liberal Arts at Penn State and author of more than 60 publications. His books include “Divided We Stand: The Strategy and Psychology of Ireland’s Dissident Terrorists” (2013), “The Psychology of Terrorism” (2005), and “Walking Away from Terrorism: Accounts of Disengagement from Radical and Extremist Movements” (2009). He is a member of multiple editorial boards and the Research Advisory Board of the FBI’s National Center for the Analysis of Violent Crime (NCAVC). He holds a Ph.D. in applied psychology from University College, Cork, in Ireland.

This lecture is a part of the International Center for the Study of Terrorism Lecture Series.

Event Date: 
Wednesday, April 3, 2013 - 5:00pm to 6:30pm
Sponsored By: 
International Center for teh Study of Terrorism, The Center for Global Studies
Kate Slaverns (
Alumni Fireside Lounge, Nittany Lion Inn, State College, PA
Target Audience: 
Higher Education
Presenter Type: 
Faculty of Institution