About the Symposium
Domestic terrorism poses a significant threat to public safety. Domestic terrorism attacks generally outnumber international ones 7 to 1 in the United States, and there are various emerging threats of concern. For example, the domestic far right has been linked to numerous political crimes such as attacks against the federal government and international targets, anti-abortion strikes, and hate crimes. Several attacks have been committed by environmental and animal right extremists targeting property, with evidence of an increase in far-left groups turning to violence. Islamist extremists have also been responsible for various mass casualty attacks in the United States. Importantly, all of these extremist movements have attempted to increase their capacity for recruitment and attacks via the Internet in general and via cybercrimes in particular.
In this symposium, Drs. Chermak and Scrivens will discuss the current state of knowledge on domestic terrorism generally and highlight specific gaps in our understanding of these threats. Here they will discuss the empirical research on the number and types of crimes by far right, far left, and Islamist extremists, as well as the lethality of lone-actor terrorism attacks versus group level terrorism attacks, and the investigatory strategies used in successful and unsuccessful terrorism plots. Also discussed will be the role of the Internet and associated technologies in facilitating terrorism and violent extremism, cyberattack strategies by far right, far left, and Islamist extremists, and extremist posting behaviors and patterns that may inform future risk factor frameworks used by law enforcement and intelligence agencies to identify credible threats online.
Watch the Symposium webcast
- The Domestic Terrorist Threat: Issues in Radicalization, Tactics, and Communication - Part 1
- The Domestic Terrorist Threat: Issues in Radicalization, Tactics, and Communication - Part 2
WHEN: Wednesday, February 16, 2022
TIME: 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM
WHERE: The University of Texas at El Paso Blumberg Auditorium (UTEP Library)
RSVP DEADLINE: Wednesday, February 9, 2022
ENTRANCE FEE: No attendance fee is associated with this symposium.
RSVP Soon Seating is limited and these events fill up quickly!
Dr. Steven Chermak
Dr. Steven Chermak is a Professor of Criminal Justice at Michigan State University. Dr. Chermak’s research on rare events focuses on activities in the area of terrorism, ideologically-motivated cybercrimes, school shootings, and mass shootings. He has collaborated with Professor Joshua Freilich to create the Extremist Crime Database—the first of its kind National Database on criminal activities involving U.S. far right, far left, and Jihadist extremists. Specifically, the database includes data on the violent and financial crimes of these extremists, characteristics of violent groups, and the nature of foiled plots. He is current in the process (with Professors Tom Holt and Joshua Freilich) of building a database of cyberterrorism incidents with funding from the National Counterterrorism Innovation, Technology, and Education Center (NCITE) and the Department of Homeland Security. Recent research projects have focused on comparing the radicalization of violent and non-violent extremists, as well as identifying how extremists are similar and different from other violent offenders. Dr. Chermak’s research has been published in Justice Quarterly, Crime & Delinquency, and Terrorism and Political Violence.
Dr. Ryan Scrivens, Michigan State University
Dr. Ryan Scrivens is an Assistant Professor in the School of Criminal Justice at Michigan State University. He is also an Associate Director at the International CyberCrime Research Centre at Simon Fraser University in Canada and a Research Fellow at the VOX-Pol Network of Excellence in Ireland. Dr. Scrivens conducts problem-oriented interdisciplinary research with a focus on terrorists’ and extremists' use of the Internet, right-wing terrorism and extremism, and hate crime. Many of his research projects are derived from his engagements with front-line practitioners in law enforcement and intelligence agencies, as well as in social media and tech companies. A hallmark of his research is employing advanced quantitative methods and machine learning tools to better understand right-wing extremists’ use of the Internet and associated technologies. He complements this approach by also conducting in-depth interviews with current and former violent extremists, as well as law enforcement and community activists. As a result, he has become a leading international expert on right-wing terrorism and extremism, known among his peers for conducting innovate and cutting-edge empirical research. Dr. Scrivens has published over 40 peer-reviewed journal articles, books and book chapters, conference proceedings, and policy notes in the past five years. His recent work appears in Terrorism and Political Violence, Studies in Conflict & Terrorism, New Media & Society, and Deviant Behavior. He also has book contracts with Oxford University Press and Palgrave. In addition, he has presented his findings before practitioners and policymakers at the UK Home Office in London, the Department of Defence in Ottawa, the Swedish Defence Research Agency in Stockholm, and the United Nations in New York and in Vienna. His research has been funded by Public Safety Canada, the Canadian Network for Research on Terrorism, Security and Society, and VOX-Pol.