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Focus Areas

Security Threat Mitigation

Leveraging unique and experimental techniques to provide practitioners with practical knowledge to improve emergency response and preparedness efforts.

RTI security threats and extremism staff design and implement complex, methodologically rigorous projects focused on preventing and responding to emerging security threats. This research applies unique and experimental techniques to develop practical knowledge to improve emergency response and preparedness efforts. Towards this end, staff have undertaken research to directly inform the efforts of law enforcement and other representatives of the criminal-legal system, community organizations, and academics. Thus far, project work has focused on simulating explosive environments, employing behavioral simulation models in various security scenarios, and identifying geospatial clusters of support for violent extremism.

Soft Targets

Bombings against soft targets, or publicly accessible areas where vast amounts of people can congregate with little security or protective measures present (e.g., sports arenas, train stations), are a security threat in the United States and Europe. Such targets have been the focus of terrorist groups for decades, and dozens of recent terrorist bombings have leveraged homemade explosives (HMEs) against soft targets.

Our experts have worked with the Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency to create simulations using agent-based modeling to study how people respond to bombing incidents. This modeling technique, when combined with inputs from bombing case studies and other hazardous events, allows researchers to account for real-world human behavior when creating simulations to improve prevention, mitigation, and response measures.