September 28, 2012
Research Brief: Law Enforcement Efforts to Counter Violent Extremism
Lessons Learned from Past Cases
A new START Research Brief features analyses of the effectiveness of law enforcement measures to counter violent extremism in two past cases —efforts to counter eco-terrorists and violent Puerto Rican nationalists. The analyses reveal that law enforcement can have success in this role when agencies and individuals involved are willing and able to fully collaborate with colleagues, have access to an ongoing stream of intelligence and data, and apply innovative techniques for analyzing those data.
These historical cases can provide important insights for today’s efforts to address persistent and emerging threats. The lessons learned are particularly relevant now that the White House’s “Strategic Implementation Plan for Empowering Local Partners to Prevent Violent Extremism in the United States” places significant responsibility upon local law enforcement to be a key actor in countering violent extremism and preventing potential terrorist acts in the United States in the future. While counterterrorism has rarely been the primary responsibility of law enforcement, the United States has long engaged law enforcement in counterterrorism efforts, particularly against domestic threats.
To download the Research Brief “Law Enforcement Efforts to Counter Violent Extremism: Lessons Learned from Past Cases,” click here.
The START Research Brief is based on two previous reports: “Effects and effectiveness of law enforcement intelligence measures to counter homegrown terrorism: A case study on the Fuerzas Armadas de Liberación Nacional (FALN),” found here and "Countering Eco-Terrorism in the United States: The Case of ‘Operation Backfire’" found here.