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.
View presentations from past 2018 DHS chemical sector security events.
Hitron Technologies Inc. (Hitron) developed the body-worn camera prototypes that were assessed during this operational field assessment (OFA) to address these limitations for U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate’s (S&T) First Responder Technologies Division (R-Tech).
First responders are often in critical situations where a hands-free voice interface solution could enhance their situational awareness and help ensure their safety. As part of its mission to support the identification and integration of existing and emerging technologies, the Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) has partnered with the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (JHU/APL) to develop potential Automated Speech Recognition (ASR) technology solutions.
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.
This report represents the results of a formative evaluation conducted from December 2015 to November 2016. The data and results reflect what was learned during that time period and are not intended to represent the status of subsequent efforts in Los Angeles. “Countering Violent Extremism,” or CVE, refers to proactive actions to counter efforts by extremists to recruit, radicalize, and mobilize followers to violence.
Technology innovators are invited to an industry Stakeholder Summit, August 9 in Washington, DC, to learn about the highest priority needs of more than 7.5 million first responders in the global market.
DHS S&T has directed Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (JHU/APL) to implement a synthesis study to identify and summarize existing body worn cameras (BWC)-related research, specifically that which involves law enforcement personnel perceptions of an incident/event to compare with data/video acquired from BWC devices.