The goal of this project is to identify the characteristics of communities where persons indicted under terrorism related charges lived, planned, and prepared prior to carrying out terrorist attacks. Are there potential markers that can be identified to assist in intervention efforts before violence occurs?
This report includes a brief review of past social science research on improvised explosive devices (IEDs) followed by a series of focused observations resulting from data collection and analysis efforts.
America’s response to terrorism has changed dramatically over the past thirty years. Changes have included everything from the way in which terrorism is portrayed politically, to the manner in which terrorists are investigated, prosecuted, and punished.
Analyses of two past cases—efforts to counter eco-terrorists and violent Puerto Rican nationalists—demonstrate that law enforcement can have success in this role when agencies and individuals involved are willing and able to fully collaborate with colleagues, have access to an ongoing stream of intelligence and data, and apply innovative techniques for analyzing those data. These historical cases can provide important insights for today’s efforts to address persistent and emerging threats.
The Department of Homeland Security’s U.S. Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) Task Force and the United Kingdom’s Home Office provided a virtual demonstration of a new online educational training course, “Countering Terrorists Exploitation of Social Media and the Internet,” to members of the Global Internet Forum to Counter Terrorism (GIFCT).
There is a need to understand the short-term and long-term effects of intelligence-led practices to inform policymakers and justice officials involved in developing counterstrategies, and this study aims to look at one law-enforcement led counterterrorism effort from the 1980s to assess what might be learned from that case for efforts moving forward in the United States.
As an adolescent, Sarah* became involved in a series of violent extremist right-wing (XRW) groups. She eventually committed to one group and was convicted for terrorist offenses. Sarah’s first exposure to the XRW scene came via a group of skinheads in high school. Sarah says that these initial groups were little more than “watered down punk rockers” mostly focused around the “style, the way of life, the music scene.”
Ahmed* joined a terrorist organization at the age of 15. When he entered the organization he had “absolutely no expectations” about what his involvement would entail.
The “Arc” model identifies critical stages in the development of the terrorist. The distinctions made in this model draw from analogies with criminal careers and are useful in the identification of potential intervention points. This model focuses on the development of terrorist group members, and although there may be points of overlap, it is not intended to explain the development of lone-actor terrorists. The model is comprised of three stages: becoming involved, engagement, and disengagement. For some, a fourth stage, re-engagement, is present.
The goal of the current effort, International Expert Engagement and Analysis of Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) Evaluations, is to contribute to the development and implementation of the Framework by collecting information about the current state of international CVE program evaluations, including identifying transferrable best practices and documenting gaps.