Geographic Concentrations of Violent Extremism and Terrorism in the United States
This project is designed to shift the focus away from which individuals might radicalize to explore instead whether certain areas in the United States are more likely than others to bear witness to the rise of violent extremism. To answer these questions, the research team will build upon conclusions of the START report Community-Level Indicators of Radicalization: A Data and Methods Task Force, an effort that was supported by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Science and Technology Directorate's Human Factors/Behavioral Sciences Division. This project will apply recommendations of the report towards the goals of (1) identifying geographical areas that have experienced the highest levels of to terrorist violence and extremist crime during the past 20 years; and (2) exploring factors that might serve to foster violent extremism.
The project team will engage in a number of efforts in two general categories: (a) identifying geographical clusters of violent extremism and (b) exploring underlying structural factors and characteristics of communities where such clusters have existed. The project will use data from both the Global Terrorism Database (GTD) and the American Terrorism Study (ATS) to accomplish these tasks. The resulting data will be assembled in a single relational database to facilitate future research on which of these factors relate significantly to the emergence of clusters of violent extremism and will be designed to be integrated to other relevant data collections, including the Terrorist and Extremist Violence in the United States database.
This research is supported by the DHS Science and Technology Directorate’s Human Factors/Behavioral Sciences Division.