Terrorism's Organization, Structure, and Culture

NIJ supports research on terrorist recruitment, motivations for mobilization, changes in terrorist tactics over time, and social networks.

Tactical and Operational Learning by Terrorist Groups. (RAND)
Explores how terrorist groups enhance their capabilities to stage terrorist operations through tactical and operational learning. A model will be tested through case studies to explore the processes through which terrorist organizations acquire knowledge and skills of weapons, tactics, and operational strategies.

Learn more about this project in the two volume report Aptitude for Destruction.

Terrorist Recruitment in U.S. Inmate Population. (Indiana State University)
The purpose of this research is to collect baseline information on non-Judeo-Christian programs within U.S. correctional institutions, and to provide a preliminary assessment of their potential for terrorist recruitment, thereby providing a starting point for more in-depth research on the subject.

Jihad, Crime, and the Internet: Content Analysis of Jihadist Forum Discussions. (University of Illinois at Chicago)
This project will provide a comprehensive social science-based analysis of how jihadists use the Internet to serve their needs and objectives by examining what they say and do on interactive Web sites. Using content analysis, researchers will identify the topics or categories of discussions, quantify the various uses, and enumerate their relative frequencies and purpose.

The Operation and Structure of Right-Wing Extremist Groups. (University of Nebraska, Omaha)
The objective of this project is to improve the threat assessment of extremist group violence. The researchers will combine the threat assessment model designed by the U.S. Secret Service with threshold models of collective behavior to compare advocates of extremist violence with implementers of extremist violence using the Automated Targeting System (ATS) data and 89 life history interviews of extremists.

Organizational Learning and Islamic Extremism. (Pennsylvania State University) Researchers for this project plan to increase the understanding of how Islamic militants learn through a comparative case study of extremist networks in Spain and the United Kingdom. They will develop a dataset containing interviews with 80 key informants using structured, focused comparison and process tracing interviews triangulated with official documents.

Date Created: November 8, 2007