DSG Studying Far-Right Terrorist Groups
For the National Institute of Justice, DSG is investigating the characteristics of far-right terrorist groups in the United States. Under the leadership of Dr. Arie Perliger, an expert in the study of domestic terrorism, DSG is building an analytical framework that law-enforcement agencies and their partners can use to shape counterterrorism strategies tailored to each group’s tactics and operational environment.
For the National Institute of Justice, DSG is studying the characteristics and operations of five categories of far-right domestic terrorists—skinheads, neo-Nazis, sovereign citizens, militias, and Christian-identity groups—and constructing an analytical framework that law-enforcement agencies and their partners can use to shape counterterrorism strategies tailored to each group’s tactics and operational environment. The investigation employs mixed methods, including incident analysis, perpetrator analysis, and discourse analysis. These analyses will lead to the formation of tools that can
- Identify and distinguish between radicalization and pre-attack behaviors of perpetrators of different far-right groups.
- Identify which societal, economic, and political environment is most likely to facilitate violence of a specific far-right group.
- Distinguish between the specific patterns of online communications and activities of the different far-right groups.
- Recognize the linkages between individuals’ emotional manifestations online and their potential radicalization as they relate to specific types of far-right groups. Findings from the study will serve as the evidence base for online learning modules and an outreach campaign to practitioners, policymakers, law enforcement agencies, and cyber divisions.