National Institute of Justice Examines Link Between Location of Terrorists and Risk of Terrorism
The Office of Justice Programs’ National Institute of Justice today published an article summarizing an NIJ-supported study that examines where terrorists live and plan terrorist acts, in relation to where the acts occur.
In domestic terrorism investigations, as in conventional policing, place matters. Information about place helps law enforcement and intelligence agencies identify individuals or groups engaged in terrorism-related activities and provides opportunities to prevent terrorist attacks and apprehend the people involved. Prior spatial research looking at terrorism-related activity focused on the site of the terrorist act, with an inference that planning of the activity occurred at or near the location of the act. However, other research has shown that most terrorists do not live near the places they attack. Understanding the place-related connections between residence, planning and execution of attacks can give law enforcement and intelligence agencies sharper insights into patterns of extremist violence.
The NIJ-funded research team applied two advanced analytical tools for interpreting location data: risk terrain modeling and conjunctive analysis. By combining the data, the study aimed to enhance the ability to predict where future terror-related activity is likely to occur and to generate findings of greater significance to law enforcement and intelligence agencies.
Title: Assessing Risk of Terrorist Acts by Looking at Location Data and
Demographic and Social Characteristics
Author: National Institute of Justice
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