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Office for Public Safety Research

Facing the Inevitable Storm

Over the years, S&T has developed a host of tools in preparation for the Atlantic hurricane season; the 2019 season officially began June 1.

S&T - The 5RD Network Terrorism Prevention Meeting

The Five Country Research and Development (5RD) Terrorism Prevention Meeting was hosted by the United Kingdom Home Office’s Office for Security and Counter-Terrorism (OSCT), in London, UK, September 10-13, 2018.

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.

S&T 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 Behavior Detection Visual Search Task Analysis Project Visual Search Battery Report

Approximately 1.2 million people fly within the United States every day. To keep these passengers safe, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) employs a multilayer security system to ensure that the traveling public and the nation’s transportation systems are protected. The Behavior Detection (BD) program serves an essential function in this multilayered security approach. Unique from other security capabilities within the TSA security system, the BD program, which was previously reserved for Behavior Detection Officers (BDOs) but is now comprised of Transportation Security Officers (TSOs) as well, trains officers to identify anomalous behaviors by observing passengers and comparing what they see to an established behavioral baseline. The goal of the program is to identify high-risk travelers and subject them to additional screening. This report describes the results of an empirical study that addressed these research goals and furthered DHS S&T’s understanding of the visual search process required for successful BD performance.

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.

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