Terrorism, Security and Resilience

Building on RAND’s 50 years of expertise at the forefront of understanding and assessing new developments in security threats, we provide insights into terrorism and counterterrorism, radicalisation and violent extremism, and security sector reform

Research, commentary, and events

  • Image of a HAR2 Bell Griffin helicopter, seen here at RAF Akrotiri in Cyprus on 4 July 2021 assisting with efforts to tackle wildfires across Cyprus, photo by Cpl Phil Dye/UK Ministry of Defence Crown Copyright

    Multimedia

    Expert Insights: Understanding the Value of Defence

    13 Jul 2021

    RAND Europe Defence, Security and Infrastructure director Ruth Harris and Research Leader James Black examine the ‘value proposition’ of UK defence in this audio conversation. They explore how the value it brings to the nation can be better articulated across government, to partners and to the wider public.

  • Silhouette of man in front of computer screen, photo by Sander van der Werf/Adobe Stock

    Project

    Examining hateful extremism within society during COVID-19

    02 Jul 2021

    An exploration of the links between hateful extremism and false information identified online interventions and policy responses and suggested policy considerations and areas that would benefit from further exploration.

  • Digital data concept, illustration by thodonal/Adobe Stock

    Project

    Insights from the Bin Laden Archive

    05 May 2021

    An analysis of the contents of Osama Bin Laden's archive, conducted at the request of the Dutch government, uncovered a promising text cluster that could help generate novel insights and knowledge about Al Qa’ida during follow-on research.

  • Conceptual representation of the protection and interaction of the personal data of the inhabitants of the planet and industrial data using artificial intelligence and the Internet of things, photo by kosssmosss/Adobe Stock

    Project

    How AI can support the European Border and Coast Guard

    29 Mar 2021

    Three baseline gaps should be addressed to maximise the opportunities provided by artificial intelligence in European border security: knowledge gaps between stakeholder groups; organisational, structural, cultural and expertise gaps; and broader gaps in the evidence base.

  • Mining of gems, gold and sapphires in the Ihorombe Region of Madagascar, photo by homocosmicos/Adobe Stock

    Project

    Identifying conflict-affected and high-risk areas for EU importers of minerals

    16 Dec 2020

    RAND Europe is developing and maintaining an updated list of conflict-affected and high-risk areas to facilitate the calibration of due-diligence efforts made by EU importers of specific metals and minerals.

  • A hospital damaged in an attack on a U.S. military air base in Bagram, north of Kabul, Afghanistan, December 11, 2019, photo by Mohammad Ismail/Reuters

    Project

    Examining violence against healthcare

    01 Jul 2020

    RAND Europe explored the nature of violence against healthcare, the impact of this violence, and corresponding interventions on a global scale – the first time an evidence review of this scale has been undertaken in this area.

  • Red and green figures of people indicating influence on their surroundings, photo by Andrey Yalanskiy (Андрей Яланский)/Adobe Stock

    Project

    Using machine learning to detect malign information efforts online

    23 Jun 2020

    Social media is increasingly being used by human and automated users to distort information, erode trust in democracy and incite extremist views. Our research produced a machine learning model that can successfully detect Russian trolls.

  • Futuristic digital business cryptocurrency candle chart, illustration by Eduard Muzhevskyi/Adobe Stock

    Project

    Exploring the criminal use of Zcash and cryptocurrencies

    06 May 2020

    While most transactions made with virtual coins are legitimate, cryptocurrencies have also been used for criminal purposes. Researchers found no evidence of widespread illicit use of Zcash, but that may be because malicious users do not fully understand its operating model.

  • People arrive at Al Hidayah, a youth camp at Warwick University in Coventry, central England, August 9, 2009, photo by Kieran Doherty/Reuters

    Commentary

    To Ensure Deradicalisation Programmes Are Effective, Better Evaluation Practices Must First Be Implemented

    04 Mar 2019

    Given the increasing number of ISIS foreign fighters seeking re-entry into the UK, a better understanding of deradicalisation programs is essential. More robust and transparent evaluation processes for intervention programmes should be implemented before confidence in their effectiveness can be established.

  • World map with exclamation points for epicenters for terrorist attack, photo by Infadel/Getty Images

    Commentary

    A New Framework for Evaluating Counter Violent Extremism Projects

    15 Feb 2019

    Gathering evidence in the area of counter violent extremism (CVE) is vital, given the increasing role for CVE interventions in the political and security environment. Evaluations of these interventions can play a role in growing this knowledge, by helping the CVE field itself to develop.

  • Working on a computer

    Project

    Violent Extremism Evaluation Measurement (VEEM) Framework

    14 Jan 2019

    A key challenge in counter violent extremism evaluation is the lack of commonly agreed metrics to measure behavioural changes in people. RAND Europe researchers developed a web-based framework that lists behavioural categories, attributes, and suggested measurement tools.

  • A smartphone showing the Islamic State logo in front of a screen showing the Telegram logo in Zenica, Bosnia and Herzegovina, November 18, 2015

    Commentary

    ISIS's Social Media Use Poses a Threat to Stability in the Middle East and Africa

    11 Dec 2018

    The importance of social media in projecting violent extremist propaganda and recruiting foreign fighters is well documented. As ISIS attempts to regroup and recuperate, investigating its use of information and communication technologies could be important to understanding the group's plans to regain territorial control.

  • Hand silhouette working on a laptop keyboard

    Project

    Social media in Africa presents double-edged sword

    05 Nov 2018

    The spread of social media in Africa has brought many economic and political benefits, while also equipping terrorist groups with a tool for recruitment and propaganda. Researchers examined the links between social media use and online radicalisation in six African countries, drawing on primary Twitter data analysis.

  • Dutch police on security patrol

    Project

    How to evaluate counterterrorism policies and interventions

    25 Oct 2018

    Initiatives to prevent and counter terrorism and violent extremism are rarely evaluated and are often designed on the basis of untested assumptions. Researchers developed and reviewed an inventory of 48 evaluations conducted between 2013 and 2017 to draw practical lessons and recommendations.

  • Visualisation of the communication network in Tokyo

    Project

    Lessons for safeguarding the cybersecurity of Tokyo's Olympic Games

    18 Oct 2018

    Researchers explored the cybersecurity threat landscape of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, the lessons that can be learned from previous Olympic Games, which actors pose a cybersecurity threat, and what policy options can help planners mitigate these risks.

  • A student walks along a damaged street in the town of Kafr Batna, in eastern Ghouta, Syria, September 5, 2018

    Commentary

    Why We Should Measure the Economic Impact of Terrorism in the Middle East

    24 Sep 2018

    Though physical impacts of terrorism in the Middle East should be the main focus of counterterrorism efforts, financial impacts should not be ignored. Officials could help mitigate devastating economic effects by identifying and protecting essential regional revenue streams like tourism and oil.

  • A simple radiation warning design on a concrete wall

    Commentary

    Is Nuclear Terrorism Distracting Attention from More Realistic Threats?

    27 Jul 2018

    A nuclear terrorist attack is currently not a realistic threat. It would require an unprecedented level of sophistication from terrorists. The majority of terrorist attacks are conducted with conventional explosives.

  • The Europol headquarters in The Hague, Netherlands, September 12, 2013

    Commentary

    Maintaining Europol Security Ties After Brexit

    18 Jun 2018

    Europol is a highly effective organization that is essential to addressing transnational crime in today's interconnected world. Britain could make continuing membership in Europol one of its highest priorities during Brexit negotiations.

  • Flowers lying on the grass after a terrorist atack in London

    Project

    The cost of terrorism in Europe

    06 Jun 2018

    Terrorism is negatively associated with economic growth in Europe. Between 2004 and 2016, the 28 EU member states lost around €180 billion in GDP terms due to terrorist attacks, in addition to the human toll through loss-of-life and injuries.

  • A memorial for victims of a mass shooting sits outside the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina, June 22, 2015

    Commentary

    How Do You Define Terrorism?

    04 Jun 2018

    The term “terrorism” remains contested. What constitutes a terrorist attack? Moreover, should groups who incite hatred be held responsible for such attacks—and be labeled as terrorists—even if they don't directly participate in the violence?