WASHINGTON – On April 19, Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Kevin K. McAleenan released the following statement on the establishment of the new DHS Office for Targeted Violence and Terrorism Prevention:
countering violent extremism
DHS S&T OSAI in partnership with the National Institute of Building Sciences developed a set of best practices and a new online tool, Best Practices for Anti-Terrorism Security (BPATS), for building owners to evaluate their operations end-to-end before applying for SAFETY Act protections.
To counter the continually growing and changing threat of violent extremism, DHS S&T has developed a free and publicly accessible research findings dashboard that hosts more than 1,500 cataloged terrorism prevention and countering violent extremism research documents.
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) developed a comprehensive and publicly available literature review and ontology dashboard to organize CVE literature. This new capability streamlines the ability for end users and practitioners to access peer-reviewed and methodologically sound research products to develop an evidence base in the field of terrorism prevention for what works, what doesn’t, and why.
This study asked members of the Somali‐American community in Minneapolis‐St. Paul to describe the challenges of living in a refugee community, how violent extremists try to exploit their condition for recruitment purposes, and what resources and strategies are needed to minimize their vulnerability. Using ethnographic methods, this study looked at the everyday lives of Somali‐American adolescent boys and young men in the context of their families and communities.
Since 2010, the U.S. government has invested more than $20 million into understanding all forms of radicalization to violence, as well as effective prevention and intervention measures. DHS S&T and the National Institute of Justice (NIJ) are at the forefront of this work.
DHS S&T developed a comprehensive and publicly available literature review and ontology dashboard to organize CVE literature. This new capability streamlines the ability for end users and practitioners to access peer-reviewed and methodologically sound research products to develop an evidence base in the field of terrorism prevention for what works, what doesn't, and why.
In order to move beyond the existing push/pull framework to understand disengagement, we apply a systematic coding scheme derived from Mayer and colleagues’ integrative model of organizational trust to examine why people leave extremist groups. In doing so, we also rely on in-depth life history interviews with twenty former left- and right-wing extremists to examine whether antecedents of distrust vary between the two groups. Findings suggest substantial similarities and important differences between left- and right-wing extremists’ decision to leave. In particular, perceptions of poor planning and organization, low-quality personnel and vindictive behavior generate perceptions of organizational distrust and disillusionment. Although findings from the current study are based on a relatively small sample, notable similarities were identified between both groups regarding sources of distrust (e.g., leaders, group members). We also identified differences regarding the role of violence in weakening solidarity and nurturing disillusionment with extremist activities. We conclude this article with suggestions for future research that extend the study of terrorism and that may have significance for how practitioners address countering violent extremism initiatives.
Objective: We examined how nonideological factors such as childhood risk factors and adolescent conduct problems precede participation in violent extremism (VE). Methods: We conducted in-depth life-history interviews with former members of violent White supremacist groups (N = 44) to examine their childhood and adolescent experiences, and how they explain the factors that led to the onset of VE. Results: Based on self-reports, we found substantial presence of childhood risk factors and adolescent conduct problems as precursors to participation in violent extremist groups. Conclusions: Our findings suggest that pathways to VE are more complex than previously identified in the literature and that violent extremists are a heterogeneous population of offenders whose life histories resemble members of conventional street gangs and generic criminal offenders. We conclude our article with implications related to criminological theory, directions for future research, and limitations.
The topic of hate group membership and radicalization toward extremist ideologies has received substantial attention in recent years; however, relatively less is known about the process of disengagement and deradicalization. This is troubling because the number of hate groups in the United States has increased and some are known to engage in a variety of violent and criminal behavior. This exploratory study relies on life history interviews with 34 former white supremacists, one of the oldest types of hate groups in the United States, to examine the process of exit from these groups. Findings suggest that exiting is a multifaceted process with a variety of factors that influence a person’s decision to leave. The results also highlight a number of difficulties associated with exiting such as ongoing emotions of guilt, ideological relapse, and maintaining social ties with current members of the white supremacist movement.