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Focus Areas

Security Threats and Extremism

Identifying promising practices in security threat mitigation (STM) and targeted violence and terrorism prevention (TVTP) through research and evaluation.

Individuals and groups engage in terrorism and targeted attacks through threatened and real violence. In the United States and abroad, ideologically motivated attacks result in hate crimes, mass attacks, and harm to critical infrastructure, causing immense physical, psychological, social, and economic harm to individuals, communities, institutions, and nations. Informed strategies to prevent and respond to targeted violence and terrorism are essential for promoting secure and resilient societies.

RTI's security threats and extremism experts study issues related to the prevalence, characteristics, and associated harms of terrorism and targeted violence. This includes government prevention and response efforts in addition to community and corrections-based intervention and reintegration programming for those who have engaged in or are on a pathway to extremist violence.

Program staff conduct advanced research on wide-ranging topics within the STM and TVTP spaces. To ensure our research is responsive to the needs of practitioners in the field, we also offer program evaluation and guidance for training development. Across all projects, the program approaches terrorism and targeted violence in a holistic manner to assess “what works.” We are driven by a mission to develop evidence-based and practical prevention and response strategies for dissemination to both the academic and practitioner communities.

Program staff bring diverse expertise from numerous fields, including conflict management, criminology, criminal justice, international relations, international studies, political science, and sociology. We partner with local and national non-profits and government agencies. Past and current clients include the United States Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T), DHS Division of Program Analysis & Evaluation (PA&E), the University of Nebraska Omaha National Counterterrorism Innovation, Technology, and Education Center (NCITE), the Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) Office of Bombing Prevention (OBP), and the National Institute of Justice (NIJ).