In 2017, there were 10,900 terrorist attacks around the world that killed more than 26,400 people, according to the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism (START). The number of terrorist attacks per year in the United States in the post-September 11 era has increased from 33 in 2002 to 65 in 2017. It is evident that the number of terrorist attacks and the lethality of these attacks are increasing at alarming levels within the United States and abroad, and terrorism is a pressing national issue that lies very much within a global context.
With the threat of terrorism on the rise and acts of terrorism occurring increasingly at a national and global level, it is imperative — perhaps now more than ever — that we ensure our resources are being directed to the most practical and evidence-based means of countering violent extremism. Understanding why and how people radicalize, as well as what can be done to prevent radicalization or intervene during the process, are key to countering violent extremism.