Practical Terrorism Prevention: Reexamining U.S. National Approaches to Addressing the Threat of Ideologically Motivated Violence
(RAND Corporation, 2019), examines past countering-violent-extremism (CVE) efforts, evaluates Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and interagency efforts to respond to ideological radicalization to violence, and recommends strengthening programs focused on non-law enforcement means to address the threat of terrorism.
The authors (Brian A. Jackson
, Ashley L. Rhoades, Jordan R. Reimer, Natasha Lander, Katherine Costello, and Sina Beaghley) found that current terrorism prevention capabilities are relatively limited. Most initiatives are implemented locally or outside government, and only a subset receive federal support. Among interviewees in law enforcement, government, and some community organizations, there is a perceived need for a variety of federal efforts to help strengthen and broaden local and nongovernmental capacity. However, doing so will be challenging, since concerns about past counterterrorism and CVE efforts have significantly damaged trust in some communities. As a result, terrorism prevention policy and programs will need to focus on building trust locally, and designing programs and federal activities to maintain that trust over time.
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Beth Windisch is a national security practitioner. You can tweet her @bethwindisch