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Tracking Terrorism: The Role of Technology in Risk Assessment and Monitoring of Terrorist Offenders

Part of the Advanced Sciences and Technologies for Security Applications book series (ASTSA)

Abstract

Intelligence is a critical aspect of countering violent extremism, and technology is increasingly used to help expand the amount of information collected about potential terrorist threats. However, it is clear that an equally important (if not more important) part of these efforts is the ability to separate, within the mass of individuals (or data) identified, those individuals who will conduct acts of terrorism (the minority) from those who will not (the majority). Thus, a core challenge is how information is handled, interpreted, analyzed, and used to inform decisions. In this chapter we discuss the dynamic interplay between the collection of intelligence (including technology-assisted surveillance) and decision-making. Specifically, we focus on how issues in our understanding of “the terrorist” interact with and impact the use of technology within counterterrorism. In addition to this, and in support of future research in this area, we highlight some innovative areas for growth and new avenues to facilitate the integration of technology within counterterrorism.

Keywords

  • Terrorism
  • Risk assessment
  • Intelligence
  • Counter violent extremism

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Notes

  1. 1.

    In the U.S., the role of the military in counterterrorism is limited to overseas activities, but this is not the case in many other countries

  2. 2.

    The TRAP-18 Manual and Code Sheets can be found online at: https://www.gifrinc.com/trap-18-manual/

  3. 3.

    As described by Psychology Today, “Neuroticism, one of the Big 5 personality traits, is typically defined as a tendency towards anxiety, self-doubt, depression, shyness, and other similar negative feelings. Since all personality traits, including emotional instability, exist on a spectrum, everyone is a little neurotic to some degree—some people are just much more neurotic than others.” Online at: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/basics/neuroticism

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Shortland, N., Forest, J.J.F. (2020). Tracking Terrorism: The Role of Technology in Risk Assessment and Monitoring of Terrorist Offenders. In: Fox, B., Reid, J., Masys, A. (eds) Science Informed Policing. Advanced Sciences and Technologies for Security Applications. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-41287-6_4

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