Probing the Structure and Behavior of Terrorist Organizations

Karl Rathemeyer and Victor Asal
Left to Right: Karl Rethemeyer, Victor Asal
Rockefeller College professors Victor Asal and R. Karl Rethemeyer are collecting and analyzing extensive data on terrorist and extremist organizations through their main project, dubbed Big Allied and Dangerous (BAAD).

They are gathering two major categories of data about terrorist groups. One includes organizational information such as home base, ideology, size, financial support, territorial control, and number of fatalities, as well as the pursuit of chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) weapons. The other is social network data, which characterizes relations between terrorist organizations as well as between countries and terrorist organizations.

Asal, of the Department of Political Science, and Rethemeyer, of the Department of Public Administration and Policy, are also using quantitative data in innovative ways in other work conducted through Rockefeller College's Project on Violent Conflict, which they co-direct. Along with colleagues Kathleen Deloughery and Ryan King, they are doing a nationwide county-level analysis of factors related to hate crimes and terrorism.

Asal's and Rethemeyer's work is supported by the U.S. Department of Defense and U.S. Department of Homeland Security.