Analyzing and identifying homegrown terrorist threats

Analyzing and identifying homegrown terrorist threats
Operations Research and Systems Analysis

Overview

Support DHS Intelligence & Analysis (DHS I&A) in the Analysis for Interdiction of Salafist-Inspired Homegrown Violent Extremists in the United States

One of the difficulties in theorizing about radicalization to violence is that individual characteristics (e.g., age, income) are not particularly different from the characteristics of the general population, and these factors mesh in a complex manner that can be difficult to differentiate. Based on prior terrorism research, the way people become involved in extremist activities varies. At the federal, state and local levels, ambiguity surrounding violent extremist mobilization hinders the ability to identify and intervene with at-risk individuals.

Solution

Instead of adopting a “one-size-fits-all” approach toward radicalization, the 2018 Cluster Study explored heterogeneity among a sample of homegrown violent extremists.

Relying on the findings from the 2018 Cluster Study, CAOE researchers are developing a training program for the homeland security community and first responders to learn about region specific trends and markers of radicalization. In addition to educating the community on national trends, the training program will aid local security analysts by informing them of threats unique to their area of responsibility.

Impact

Analyzing and identifying homegrown terrorist threats

Using data from previous domestic terrorist threats to create a framework for identifying possible domestic threats, CAOE researchers are now developing training modules with DHS to teach first responders and local law enforcement how to better recognize possible homegrown terrorist activities.

Research Leadership Team

Principal Investigator:  Gina Ligon, University of Nebraska at Omaha
Co-PI: Doug Derrick, University of Nebraska at Omaha
Co-PI: Margaret Hall, University of Nebraska at Omaha