August 2018 poll of distinguished terrorism experts, conducted by the respected Perspectives on Terrorism publication, indicated that countering terrorism is the most under-appreciated and under-researched topics in the field of terrorism studies. The polled experts stressed that not enough is done to measure the effectiveness of counterterrorism, and very little to comparatively assess given states’ efforts in this domain.
For the last year and a half, GLOBSEC has been studying the phenomenon of a crime-terror nexus in Europe. Its research team has already built up a dataset of 349 individuals arrested for terrorism offences, expelled for alleged terrorist connections, or who died while staging terrorist attacks in Europe in 2015, the peak year of European jihadism. It has now partnered with the Counter Extremism Project (CEP) to turn attention towards issues related to the “why” and “how” people join jihadist terrorist organisations. Since no single “terrorist profile” exists, one can study individual “pathways,” processes and influences that propelled some individuals towards jihadist terrorism.
In the upcoming months, GLOBSEC will publish 3 paper on the issue of “pathways” – a thematic analysis of how the aforementioned 349 individuals gravitated towards jihad, a more detailed analysis of 56 “top” pathways, and a report on pathways to terrorism in V4 countries. What is more, these reports will be supplemented by promotional and advocacy activities related to this project which are going to be held in both the U.S. and Europe.