Global Counterterrorism Efforts Ignore How Terrorists Are Created

Disparate preventative programs show influence of personal networks may be key to preventing path to violence

WASHINGTON, Nov. 27, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — New Orb Media Inc. reporting and data analysis shows the number of countries impacted by terrorism is up, public acceptance of violence targeting civilians is up, and yet expert knowledge of how to prevent individuals from being drawn into terrorism is limited at best.

Credit: Orb Media, Photo Identification: Joko Tri Harmanto, Solo, Central Java, Indonesia, Extended Caption: Joko Tri Harmanto helped build the bomb that killed 202 people in Bali in 2002. He has since rejected violence, except in self-defense. Today, he is helping deter others, including his neighbor, Wasiran, from joining violent groups.

Trillions of U.S. dollars have been spent on counterterrorism efforts since 2001, but we still know very little about why people become terrorists. New research shows individual relationships and social circles may be a major factor in attracting and preventing people from joining a violent organization.

Funding and programs for understanding the “pathway to terrorism” are limited and largely localized. Orb Media examined programs in Germany and Indonesia to understand what some organizations are doing “on the ground.”

Drawing on data and definitions from START at the University of Maryland, Orb Media concluded that the acceptability of attacks against civilians has increased worldwide.

Further, while the number of terrorists remains very small, their political, psychological and economical effect is monumental. The proportion of the global population that is very worried about terrorism has remained high since the 9/11 U.S. terror attacks, remaining between 65 – 85 percent for the past five years.

Orb Media is pleased to partner with members of the Orb Media Network (OMN), a group of global agenda-setting media which collaborate to simultaneously publish stories together that catalyze global dialogue on critical issues, focusing the attention of government, industry, researchers, civil society, and the public.

OMN members:  CBC (Canada), Channels (Nigeria), Dhaka Tribune (Bangladesh), Folha de São Paolo (Brazil), SVT (Sweden), Tempo Media Group (Indonesia), The Hindu (India), Die Zeit (Germany), BBC (United Kingdom), Cadena SER-Prisa (Spain), YLE (Finland), El Comercio (Perú),  El País (Uruguay), Mail & Guardian (South Africa), El Tiempo (Colombia), La Nación (Argentina), eNCA (South Africa), South China Morning Post (China), Louisville Public Media (United States).

About Orb Media
Orb Media is a nonprofit journalism organization that reports on issues that matter to billions of people around the globe. Fusing original research, data analysis, on-the ground reporting, and an engaged public, Orb Media produces agenda-setting stories about the challenges we face together as one world. orbmedia.org/fightingblind.

Media Contact: Lara Kline, larak@orbmedia.org.

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