Bhatti has a moral concern that the links between terrorism, security and society require a broad selection of scholars, research practitioners and practitioners to collaborate in a transdisciplinary environment, investigate events and apply evidenced based techniques to create a just, safe and secure society. His exposure to terrorism and security issues is linked to his experience of growing up in the United Kingdom (UK) and the exposure faced by the Irish community as a ‘suspect community’. Returning to the UK in 2002 after an extended trip in Asia, he found that the dynamic of the community experience had shifted post 2001 and the spectre of being perceived, or directly belonging to a suspect community had both diversified and intensified.
Working in the UK as a Community and diversity officer for the police, Bhatti was required to implement and develop approaches to enhance community cohesion, crime reduction, community tension/critical incident management and counter terrorism. He has practical operational experience in responding to terrorism and preventing terrorism. In the latter stages of this role, he developed and expanded the concept of threat, risk and harm to include new and innovative approaches to community based policing and asset based community development. As the evidenced of radicalization and ‘ressentiment’ surfaced he directly implemented peacebuilding techniques that were culturally sensitive and custom tailored to the diverse population that was served.
As tension escalated following the 7/7 Bombings and counter terrorism operations such as Operation Overt, he refocused his approach to operationalize research with successes both large and small, utilizing innovations in peacebuilding and conflict analysis. Through his experience and application of an undergrad in Theology and Sociology he was able to contribute to the understanding of the complex intersectional processes involved in preventing extremism and developing trust and confidence in policing. In 2008 Bhatti contributed a chapter to the ‘Handbook of Intelligent’ policing and continued in his mentorship under Prof. MacVean and Prof. John Greives. He completed a Masters in International Criminal Justice with a focus on political violence and counternarrative strategy.
Since moving to Canada and working for the Ontario Provincial Police as a strategic intelligence analyst Bhatti has completed a PhD in Security Risk Management. His thesis focused on the application of a community tension model, researched with the OPP’s provincial liaison team. The model examined the internal assessment and communication of threat, risk and harm across Ontario, establishing a series of early warning indicators to provide a baseline of community tension. The second phase provides a mechanism for situational hubs to analyse and understand how to actively reduce the potential, and probability, of an incident through a community impact assessment. Bhatti played a role in developing a national tension monitoring model in the UK, and through his research he has developed an enhanced model that can be applied internationally.