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 time - late nights, holidays, weekends - adopting five different identities, and joining a dozen extremist groups from across the ideological spectrum including White Supremacists, ISIS, German Neo-Nazis, ‘Trad Wives’ and ‘Jihadi Brides’. The results of her research are presented in Going Dark: The Secret Social Lives of Extremists (Bloomsbury), and give us a terrifying and essential insight into the mindset of extremism and the motives and strategies of its adherents.
She was in conversation with Daniel Trilling, author of Bloody Nasty People and Lights in the Distance.