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Radical Group in Context: 1. An Integrated Framework for the Analysis of Group Risk for Terrorism

NCJ Number
Studies in Conflict & Terrorism Volume: 25 Issue: 2 Dated: March/April 2002 Pages: 73-100
Jerrold M. Post; Keven G. Ruby; Eric D. Shaw
Date Published
April 2002
28 pages
This article presents an integrated framework of indicators for the analysis of a radical group’s risk for terrorism that build and expand on prior terrorism scholars’ key indicators, incorporating them into a larger, more comprehensive and dynamic model representing the radical group in context.
In this first of two linked articles an integrated framework is presented that has been developed to account for critical variables that are seen as increasing the risk for escalation toward political violence. However, in order to develop a framework there must be an understanding of the underlying causes of terrorism. The framework consists of four overlapping and interacting fields: (1) the historical, cultural, and contextual features giving rise to the group and form the backdrop against which the group operates; (2) the key actors affecting the group; (3) the group itself; and (4) the immediate situation confronting the group that may trigger a change and increase violence and terrorism. Within these four overlapping fields there is a large number of indicators specified. The integrated framework is built by employing a systematic expert knowledge acquisition exercise. It offers a conceptualization of the radicalization process that takes into account critical variables, both internal and external and interactions between them and the group under examination that are seen as increasing the risk for escalation toward political violence. The framework remains untested against specific cases. Upon testing, some of the conceptual indicator categories will be eliminated and those most useful and helpful will be explored and expanded on. The follow up article will describe a subset of observable indicators for each variable identified. Notes