Violent Extremism

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  • Commentary

    The Promise—and Pitfalls—of Researching Extremism Online

    How big of a problem is extremism in the United States and around the world? Is it getting worse? Are social media platforms responsible, or did the internet simply reveal existing trends? We have few answers because this research is easy to do poorly and hard to do well.

    Jul 17, 2023

  • Report

    Veterans Don't Support Extremist Groups Any More Than the Public Does

    Radical groups find military members and veterans attractive potential recruits because of their skills and training. But the veteran community does not manifest higher support for extremist groups or beliefs than the general population.

    Sep 11, 2023

Explore Violent Extremism

  • News Release

    News Release

    Some Veterans Who Express Extremist Ideologies Had Negative Experience During Service

    Interviews with military veterans who expressed support for extremist groups or related beliefs on a prior survey show that many experienced a significant negative event during their military service.

    Apr 9, 2024

  • A man wearing Proud Boy colors and hat carries a can of pepper spray as anti-fascists arrive to counter protest in St. Paul, Minnesota, November 28, 2020, photo by Chad Davis/CC BY 2.0

    Report

    How Veterans Describe Their Support for Extremist Groups and Beliefs

    Interviews with U.S. veterans explore their endorsement of extremist beliefs, their experiences in the military and in transition to veteran status, and the path to their current political and ideological perspectives. Many reported a negative or traumatic life event while serving.

    Apr 9, 2024

  • U.S. Border Patrol conducts enhanced security operations in south Florida in preparation for Super Bowl LIV, Feb.1, 2020, in Miami. A Mobile Surveillance Capable vehicle was used to send live information back to the CBP's Region IV Emergency Operations Center. Photo by Ozzy Trevino / U.S. Customs and Border Protection

    Report

    Public Perceptions of 5G Technologies

    Researchers reviewed various stakeholders’ perceptions of fifth-generation (5G) technology and how they could affect homeland security uses of such technology. This report documents their findings and recommendations.

    Mar 20, 2024

  • Israeli and American flags are flown near the U.S. Capitol during a rally in support of Israel and protest against antisemitism in Washington, D.C., November 14, 2023, photo by Tom Brenner/Reuters

    Commentary

    Next Steps for the U.S. Strategy to Counter Antisemitism

    On May 25, 2023—before Hamas's October 7 attack on Israel—the Biden administration released a document laying out a strategy to counter antisemitism. What is the meaning and relevance of pursuing this strategy now? And how can policy analysis guide its implementation?

    Mar 5, 2024

  • Preventing Domestic Violent Extremism

    Multimedia

    Preventing Domestic Violent Extremism: Insights from RAND Research

    RAND researchers Pauline Moore, Todd Helmus, and Alexandra Evans discuss the complex challenges of countering domestic violent extremism in the United States. Their research offers insights into trends, key actors in the extremist community, and factors that lead to joining or leaving extremist groups.

    Nov 30, 2023

  • Report

    Report

    Assessing Shifts in U.S. Department of Homeland Security Targeted Violence Prevention Efforts Through Early 2022

    This report characterizes changes made in U.S. Department of Homeland Security efforts to prevent targeted violence, including the extent of change and how those changes responded to concerns about efforts to counter violent extremism.

    Nov 30, 2023

  • Abstract painting with two faces, photo by Sasha devet/Adobe Stock

    Commentary

    The Israel-Hamas War Has Upended the Terrorist Threat Matrix

    Today's terrorist threat matrix seems more like an abstract expressionist painting. To those accustomed to traditional landscapes, it is difficult to discern what it depicts. The fighting in Gaza may well provoke terrorist repercussions beyond the region, the magnitude and shape of which will depend on the course of the conflict.

    Nov 22, 2023

  • Periodical

    Periodical

    RAND Review: November-December 2023

    Features explore the use of psychedelics to address depression, anxiety, posttraumatic stress disorder, and substance use disorders among veterans, and the prevalence of food insecurity among active-duty military families and veterans.

    Nov 9, 2023

  • Members of the Proud Boys gather near the Tennessee State Capitol ahead of a special session on public safety in Nashville, Tennessee, August 21, 2023, photo by Cheney Orr/Reuters

    Commentary

    How to Put RAND Findings on Veteran Support for Extremism in Context

    A RAND survey found that U.S. veterans appeared to support extremist groups at a rate lower than the general population. In contrast, a new University of Maryland study found that veteran status was the most prominent characteristic among extremists involved in terrorism attacks with four or more victims.

    Sep 11, 2023

  • Journal Article

    Journal Article

    Weakened States Pose Problems for War Scenarios

    Any question of conflict between the United States and China must take into account diminishing state legitimacy and capacity, the privatization of violence, and the rise of non-state actors and identities.

    Aug 21, 2023

  • Tributes outside Al Noor mosque where a suspected white supremacist killed more than 40 people on March 15, in Christchurch, New Zealand, March 27, 2019, photo by Edgar Su/Reuters

    Commentary

    When Mass Shooters Are Seeking Fame

    What motivates mass shooters? And what might break the cycle of violence? Developing an effective policy response first requires better understanding of the factors that drive would-be attackers to kill.

    Jul 13, 2023

  • A hacker in a dark room with several laptops and a map of Australia, composite image from South_agency and inkoly/Getty Images

    Report

    How Violent Extremists Behave Online

    Exploitation of the internet by violent extremists is as old as the technology itself. But ideologically motivated violent extremism (IMVE) actors generally, and especially in online spaces, have been adapting to and adopting the evolving technological landscape in more sophisticated ways.

    Jun 28, 2023

  • RAND Weekly Recap

    Blog

    Extremist Beliefs Among Veterans, Space Traffic, Teacher Well-Being: RAND Weekly Recap

    This weekly recap focuses on whether extremist beliefs are more prevalent among veterans, why it's time to manage traffic in outer space, crises facing the Russian military, and more.

    Jun 9, 2023

  • News Release

    News Release

    Support for Extremism Among U.S. Military Veterans Is Similar to Public at Large

    Support among military veterans for extremist groups and extremist ideals appears similar to or less than levels seen among the U.S. public in general, despite fears that it could be higher.

    May 23, 2023

  • RAND Weekly Recap

    Blog

    Extremism, Medicaid, Florida's 'Don't Say Gay' Law: RAND Weekly Recap

    This weekly recap focuses on addressing domestic extremism, managing reductions in Medicaid enrollment, the effects of Florida's “Don't Say Gay” law, and more.

    May 19, 2023

  • The Proud Boys, Patriot Front, and other right-wing extremists protest a drag queen event at First Christian Church of Katy in Katy, Texas, September 24th, 2022, photo by Reginald Mathalone/Reuters

    Commentary

    The United States Needs a Moonshot to Prevent Extremism from Metastasizing

    Extremism is like cancer: It will always exist, but ignoring it runs the risk that it rears its ugly head, metastasizing throughout the country. The United States needs to ensure it has the proper tools to diagnose extremism in its earliest stages, and that the agencies tasked with protecting our democracy have the capability to get it into, and keep it in, remission.

    May 16, 2023

  • A collection of banknotes from different countries of the world, including U.S. dollars, Saudi riyals, Kuwaiti dinars, Emirates dirhams, and European euros, image by Tamer Soliman/Getty Images

    Report

    Countering Violent Nonstate Actor Financing

    How do violent nonstate actors finance their operations? What do they use this financing for? And what can the U.S. Army do to disrupt these efforts?

    May 16, 2023

  • RAND's 75th anniversary logo over a global network, image by RAND Corporation and spainter_vfx/Adobe Stock

    Blog

    RAND Turns 75: A Look Through the Decades At World-Changing Research

    From anticipating the Space Age in the 1940s to studying gun policy and COVID-19 responses in the 2020s, RAND is celebrating 75 years of research that has made a difference.

    May 8, 2023