In order to prevent or counter terrorism, we need to understand existing threats and anticipate new ones. Both policymakers shaping CT strategies and front-line practitioners must be informed by evidence-based assessments of threat the various terrorist and extremist threats.
To that end, ICCT’s Current and Emerging Threats-programme develops a thorough understanding of the ideologies and worldviews that drive those who commit terrorist or extremist violence. In addition, we assess more broadly what draws people to extremist movements. We pursue these research strands for a variety of ideologies, including jihadism, right-wing extremism, left-wing extremism and anti-institutional extremism.
But our research in this programme doesn’t end with the motivation of terrorists and extremists. We are not only interested in the ‘why’, but also in the ‘what’ and the ‘how’. Our research is therefore also focused on how terrorists and extremists run their day-to-day operations, including those that take place in online environments. We examine, to give just a few examples, how they recruit new members, how they spread their ideas and how they plan and commit their attacks.
On the basis of such assessments we advise stakeholders about how to deal with extremist and terrorist actors, and about how to respond to new trends and developments in the threat landscape. We are also alert to the emergence of new movements, ideologies and operational trends and are therefore well-positioned to provide up-to-date solutions to stakeholders.