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Accessing the Terrorism Prevention Literature Library

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.

S&T Building Resilience to Violent Extremism Among Somali‐Americans in Minneapolis‐St. Paul

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.

Readout from Secretary Nielsen's Trip to Australia for the Five Country Ministerial

Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen M. Nielsen traveled to Australia for the Five Country Ministerial.  During the Ministerial, Secretary Nielsen met with senior security officials from Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom to discuss persistent and emerging threats and how the “Five Eyes” nations can work jointly to thwart them.

Terrorism Prevention Literature Dashboard BIB File

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.

S&T Organizational [Dis]trust: Comparing Disengagement Among Former Left-Wing and Right-Wing Violent Extremists

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.

S&T Narratives of Childhood Adversity and Adolescent Misconduct as Precursors to Violent Extremism: A Life-Course Criminological Approach

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.

S&T Improvements, Updates, and Support for the TEVUS Portal

The Terrorism and Extremist Violence in the United States (TEVUS) Database addresses the lack of publically available, reliable data about the incidents of terrorism and violent extremism in the United States by bringing together four open-source data sets developed by START and affiliated consortium researchers.

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