Sister Projects

RED ALERT – Real Time Early Detection And Alert System for Online Terrorist Content based on Natural Language Processing, Social Network Analysis, Artificial Intelligence and Complex Event Processing

To fight the war against terror, Law Enforcement Agencies (LEAs) are increasingly relying on social media intelligence (SOCMINT), a new field of intelligence covering a wide range of applications, techniques and capabilities analysing social media data, such as Natural Language Processing (NLP), Social Network Analysis (SNA), Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Complex Event Processing (CEP).

Commercial tools used by LEAs  focus primarily on data mining and predictive analytics i.e. visualizing and analysing data on maps through time-sequence playback, centralizing multiple data stores in one system, discovering hidden value in existing information stores, sharing data with other law enforcement organizations.

The RED-Alert solution will cover a wide range of social media channels, in particular new channels such as Telegram and Periscope, which are increasingly used by terrorist groups to disseminate their content. The RED-Alert solution will allow LEAs to take coordinated action in real-time while preserving the privacy of citizens.

Project Website: www.redalertproject.eu/

ARMOuR – A radical model of resilience for young minds

The ARMOUR project aims to address the social polarization caused by the adoption and spread of extremists ideologies by creating an interdisciplinary learning model that helps individuals and communities develop resilience to the specific ideologies and behaviors of violent extremism.

The project is aimed at: frontlines professionals in state and civil society institutions working with young people in the EU who are susceptible and vulnerable to radicalisation.

It acts by providing communities and professionals with the know-how and tools to create an experimental creative laboratory in which to develop a psychological and behavioural approach, and communication strategies focused on promoting resilience against the advance of radicalization and violent extremism.

The ARMOUR consortium is made up of the Euro-Arab Foundation for Higher Studies, the Centre for Security Studies – KEMEA (Greece), the “Mihai Viteazul” National Intelligence Academy (Romania), SYNYO GmbH (Austria), the Italian Ministry of Justice, Agenfor International (Italy), Fondatsiya Libre (Bulgaria), the University of Malta (Malta) and the University of Groningen (Netherlands).

 

Armour website Click here

GREASE – Radicalisation, secularism and the governance of religion: Bringing together European and Asian Perspectives

What can Europe learn from other parts of the world about governing religious diversity? What insights can research yield to help prevent religious radicalisation? Our team of researchers in Europe, North Africa, the Middle East, South Asia,  Southeast Asia and the Asia Pacific region are exploring these essential questions and much more. Our ten-partner consortium is looking at how religious diversity is governed in a broad range of cultures, comparing relevant norms, laws and practices. Within this process we are also considering the relative success of various regimes in integrating minorities and migrants. The aim is to deepen our understanding of religious diversity governance, emphasising insights for countering radicalisation trends.

In addition to comparing current models of religious diversity governance, GREASE is analysing historical influences affecting them. Specifically, the project is looking at how norms and practices for governing religious diversity have been transferred between Europe and the regions mentioned above. Particular attention is being paid to the legacy of colonialism.

With respect to Europe, GREASE is attempting to unravel the paradox of religious radicalization in light of growing secularization. The project considers the claim that migrant integration in Europe has failed because second generation youth have become marginalised and radicalised, with some turning to jihadist terrorism networks. We are also examining secularisation and radicalisation in light of wider societal transformations such as increased connectivity, mobility and inter-dependence as well as widening inequalities and the re-emergence of nationalism.

The project, which has a budget of 2.2 million euros, is being coordinated by Professor Anna Triandafyllidou from The European University Institute (EUI) in Italy. Other consortium members include Professor Tariq Modood from The University of Bristol (UK); Dr. H. A. Hellyer from the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) (UK); Dr. Mila Mancheva from The Centre for the Study of Democracy (Bulgaria); Dr. Egdunas Racius from Vytautas Magnus University (Lithuania); Mr. Terry Martin from the research communications agency SPIA (Germany); Professor Mehdi Lahlou from Mohammed V University of Rabat (Morocco); Professor Haldun Gulalp of The Turkish Economic and Social Studies Foundation (Turkey); Professor Pradana Boy of Universitas Muhammadiyah Malang (Indonesia); Professor Zawawi Ibrahim of The Strategic Information and Research Development Centre (Malaysia); Professor Gurpreet Mahajan of Jawaharlal Nehru University (India), currently an EUI fellow;  and Professor Michele Grossman of Deakin University (Melbourne, Australia). GREASE is scheduled for completion in 2022.

 

GREASE website Click Here

DARE – Dialogue about radicalisation and equality

The DARE (Dialogue about Radicalisation and Equality) project  includes 17 partners in 13 countries – Belgium, Croatia, France, Germany, Greece, Malta, Norway, Poland, Russian Federation, The Netherlands, Tunisia, Turkey and the UK – and will run for four years. Funded under the EU Horizon 2020 Framework Programme, it will investigate young people’s encounters with and agents of radicalisation, how they receive and respond to those calls, and how they make choices about the paths they take.

DARE will focus on people aged between 12 and 30, as they are a key target of recruiters and existing research suggests they may be particularly receptive to radicalism. It will approach young people neither as victims nor perpetrators of radicalisation, but as engaged, reflexive, often passionate social actors who seek information they can trust, as they navigate a world in which calls to radicalisation are numerous.

The objectives of the DARE project are:

  • To understand radicalisation trends in historical, spatial and political context including their interaction and potential for cumulative effect.
  • To identify new trends in receptivity to radicalisation especially in relation to youth and gender and extend the field to the study of non-radicalisation trajectories.
  • To investigate the interaction of structure and agency in radicalisation through the intersection of societal (macro), group (meso) and individual (micro) factors in individual trajectories.
  • To enhance understanding of the role of inequality and perceived injustice in radicalisation.
  • To understand the relative significance of religion, ideology and extra-ideological (affective) dimensions of radicalisation and how they are interwoven.
  • To develop new evaluation and intervention toolkits to counter radicalisation and maximise their impact through active collaboration with policy maker and civil society organisation stakeholders.

 

DARE website Click Here

DANTE– Detecting and Analyzing terrorist related online contents and financing activities

The DANTE project aims to deliver more effective, efficient, automated data mining and analytics solutions and an integrated system to detect, retrieve, collect and analyse huge amount of heterogeneous and complex multimedia and multi-language terrorist-related contents, from both the Surface and the Deep Web, including Dark nets. The final goal of the project is to discover, detect, analyse, and monitor potential terrorist-related activities and people, with a special focus on online raising funds activities, propaganda, training and disinformation activities.

The DANTE framework introduces innovative knowledge mining, information fusion, and automated reasoning techniques and services and provide automated functionalities such as

  • detection and monitoring of sources of relevant terrorist-related data in surface/deep Web, and dark nets;
  • accurate and fast detection, analysis, categorization of suspect terrorist related multi-language contents;
  • large-scale temporal analysis of terrorism trends;
  • real-time summarization of multilingual and multimedia terrorist-related contents;
  • detection of dis-information in online contents;
  • detection and monitoring of relevant individuals and linking pseudonyms with the original authors;
  • accurate and fast identification of terrorist online communities and groups;
  • capturing, storing and preserving relevant data for further forensic analysis.

DANTE website Click Here

CHAMPIONS – Cooperative harmonized action model to stop polarisation in our nations

CHAMPIONs’ central action is to establish permanent offline working groups – ‘CHAMPIONs Roundtables’ – combining first-line practitioners (FLPs) of different disciplines, professions and institutions/ agencies, to jointly develop effective detection & response solutions to counter polarisation, build resilience and protect vulnerable groups in their local communities. FLPs will be trained to build capacity to design solutions and programmes to most effectively address the drivers of polarisation on local level, and to collaborate most efficiently by breaking down institutional barriers – as for instance is community-embedded approaches. In medium term, project activities will not only be directed at vulnerable individuals, but also include the wider community – who will be engaged in awareness-raising events – as well as local and national policy-makers.

To facilitate these processes of offline joined-up solution development, an online platform will be produced combining three central instruments: (i) ‘Alert’ – a collation of tools and services developed under other EU-funded projects that enable FLPs to bring attention to key focal issues to address in their community (e.g. social media monitoring tools); (ii) ‘Arena’ – a communication & cooperation mechanism that enables instantaneous information exchange either privately, between collaborating FLPs, and publicly through sharing good practice and highlighting strengths/ weaknesses of certain actions; (iii) ‘Training Yard’ – a capacity-building resource centre which FLPs can engage with either individually or as a group, complete with learning materials, video-tutorials, good practice guidelines/ handbooks and case study simulation exercises developed through the project action.

 

CHAMPIONS website Click Here

BRIDGE – Building Resilience to reduce polarization and growing extremism

Polarisation can be understood as a process of sharpening differences between groups in society that can result in increased tensions. It is a potential amplifying cause of the diverse psychological and social factors that make people vulnerable to radicalisation. In order to effectively prevent radicalisation we need to understand the dynamics of polarisation: how do ‘us-and-them thinking’, social division and hostility gain ground in our communities? And how can we effectively intervene into such extremist dynamics and build bridges to foster social cohesion?

The overall objectives of this project are to raise awareness among local actors and strengthen their capacity to reduce individual and collective vulnerability to radicalisation while at the same time mitigating the phenomenon of polarisation:

  • strengthen local polarisation detection and management tools
  • assist local authorities in the development of actions to tackle tensions and social unrest trends
  • promote community-based initiatives that imply cooperation between different public services and private actors
  • bring together European local authorities and experts willing to address polarisation at the local level

Partners include Brussels (BE), Departmental council of Val d’Oise (FR), Düsseldorf (DE), Government of Catalonia (ES), Genk (BE),  Igoumenitsa (GR), Leuven (BE), Reggio Emilia (IT), Region of Umbria (IT), Rotterdam (NL), Terrassa (ES), Stuttgart (DE), Vaulx-en-Velin (FR)

Bridge website Click Here

AUGGMED – Automated serious game scenario generator for mixed reality training

Multi-agent counter terrorist training in mixed reality environments with automated serious game scenario generator. The aim of AUGGMED is to develop a serious game platform to enable single- and team-based training of end-users with different level of expertise from different organisations responding to terrorist and organised crime threats.

The platform will automatically generate non-linear scenarios tailored to suit the needs of individual trainees with learning outcomes that will improve the acquisition of emotional management, analytical thinking, problem solving and decision making skills. The game scenarios will include advanced simulations of operational environments, agents, telecommunications and threats, and will be delivered through virtual reality (VR) and mixed reality (MR) environments with multimodal interfaces.

AUGGMED website Click Here

MINDb4ACT

The issue of radicalization leading to terrorism has become a crucial part of the political and academic agendas in Europe, confronted, especially in the last decade, not only to the threat from Jihadist terrorism but also with right/left wing violent extremism. Though violent radicalization is not a new phenomenon, its most recent manifestations require a more comprehensive and holistic approach addressing not only security concerns but also framing of the problem in social and psychological terms.

MINDb4ACT tries to solve limitations in conventional research methodologies through the Living Labs framework in which all stakeholders –academia, Law Enforcement Agencies (LEAs), private sector, governments, municipalities, first-line respondents and other practitioners– collaborate to co-design new practices to prevent violent extremisms addressing all dimension (security, political, societal and ethical).

A Living Lab is an innovation environment to test new solutions with main stakeholders, developed in the 90s by research on cognitive and decision-making process. It is often used in innovation and technology environments and has been tested and used successfully in some security contexts (cyber-security, intelligence) evolving from engineering-computing to socio-cultural fields. The European Commission has characterized Living Labs and Public-Private-Persons Partnerships open for innovation and lead by end-users.

MINDb4ACT will use such framework to implement 17 pilot projects to tackle violent radicalization realized by LEAs, first-line practitioners and civil society actors.

 

Website Click Here

PRACTICIES – Partnership against violent radicalisation in the cities

PRACTICIES (Partnership Against Violent Radicalisation in Cities) mobilises networks of European cities ,experts from the fields  of humanities, political science, information technology , stakeholders and representatives of civil society  with the objectives to better understand  the “human roots of radicalisation” , and to characterize them from  the origins in order to create concrete prevention tools and practices

PRACTICIES is a European network , a strong partnership based on :

 

– National and regional institutions and cities responsible for designing and implementing policies to prevent radicalisation leading to violence.

– Academic, researchers and experts responsible for developing multidisciplinary approaches to tackle radicalisation leading to violence.

– Practitioners , stakeholders , representative of civil society , schools , families and associations with varied experiences in the fight against radicalization leading to violence.

– IT Companies specialized in the development of software that will enable both the collection of data and the production of control and narrative tools to prevent all forms of radicalization leading to violence.

PRACTICES website Click Here

TENSOR – Retrieval and Analysis of heterogeneous online content for terrorist activity recognition

The main focus of Project TENSOR is to keep people safe. The project which is funded by the EU under the Horizon 2020 programme will seek to develop a platform offering Law Enforcement Agencies fast and reliable planning and prevention functionalities for the early detection of terrorist activities, radicalisation and recruitment. The project consortium recognises that for the majority of citizens, the internet is a valuable resource in day to day life. But for criminals and terrorists, it provides opportunities to exploit the internet as a tool where they can communicate with affiliates, coordinate action plans, raise funds, and introduce new supporters or recruits into their networks. These activities present a significant risk to the citizens of Europe.

The TENSOR consortium will work to develop an integrated solution for Law Enforcement Agencies, the aim of which is to increase their ability to identify and analyse terrorist generated content on the internet. The project, which has a work stream dedicated to the ethical, legal and societal impact, will ensure that the solutions are shaped by the privacy and data protection laws that protect the freedom of citizens across Europe in their use of the internet.

Law Enforcement Agencies (LEAs) across Europe face significant challenges in how they identify, gather and interpret terrorist generated content online.

 

The Dark Web presents additional challenges due to its inaccessibility and the fact that undetected material can contribute to the advancement of terrorist violence and radicalisation. LEAs also face the challenge of extracting and summarising meaningful and relevant content hidden in huge amounts of online data to inform their resource deployment and investigations.

TENSOR website Click Here

RAP – Rhizome against polarisation

Preventing polarisation at grass-root level developing a participative approach to equip and protect first-line practitioners, reinforce resilience in vulnerable groups and produce innovative policies aiming to prevent radicalisation and violent extremism.

Violent extremism is having a devastating impact on the lives and livelihoods of populations across the continent, particularly towards the most vulnerable, including youth, women and children. Violent extremism is raising currently in Europe, where fanatic movements spreading racist, islamophobia, xenophobia, and extreme-right ideologies are gaining momentum and institutional representation, while radical Islamism is rising as well. In front of the new growth of groups prompting hatred, intolerance and violence, security-based only measures will not be effective. Focusing on European policies supporting the prevention of radicalisation, the action equips first-line practitioners to manage polarisation and radicalisation, reinforces resilience processes of communities at risk, shares with public institutions Policy Frameworks to manage polarisation and increases awareness among EU society on existing good practices to mitigate polarisation.

RAP website Click Here

PROPHETS – Preventing radicalisation online through the proliferation of harmonised toolkits

The globalisation of mass communication and the permeation of the internet into almost all aspects of society has further enabled serious societal threats to exploit and target European citizens, businesses and, through the emergence of online terrorism, democratic ideals. Concerned with these existing and emerging challenges, PROPHETS seeks to analyse, assess and fight these myriad of emerging threats through addressing the very factors that underlie their cause in addition to the numerous and far research Problems that they create as well as empowering LEAs with an online platform to identify and highlight these causes at root.

PROPHETS recognises that there is a blurring of the lines between aspects of terrorism, organised crime and contemporary cybercrime, driven in part by legal and political need to be seen to be combatting such crimes. Increasingly, cyberspace is used as a vector through which to illegally fund, recruit, train, and incite individuals against European social and democratic ideals, and, it is important to note, these phenomena extend far beyond Jihadist terrorism, but also into the violent extremism of the Far Right and Far Left at both the EU and international level. Recent events, such as the Charlottesville, Virginia incident of domestic terrorism, have highlighted the need for further research into improving our understanding, and the development of tools to combat the process of online behavioural radicalisation.

 

Extensive Analysis and Synthesis of Behavioural Radicalisation

This outcome will identify the intelligence and expertise required for the ‘intelligence-led police approach’ to cybercrime and create publishable materials to enhance knowledge sharing of different aspects of behavioural analysis, criminal trends, and cybercriminal vulnerabilities and threats between LEAs and practitioners.

Open Source Behavioural Investigation and Analysis Platform

The development of advanced open-source tools to form a larger PROPHETS platform will facilitate joint exercises and investigations between LEAs and security focused stakeholders to analyse cases from a multi-agency and multi-disciplinary perspective.

Best Practice Roadmap and Policy Training Toolkit

By identifying best practices and encapsulating them in policies, PROPHETS will aim to reduce the “chain effects” during critical and major cyber events by adapting and improving the knowledge of LEAs, intelligence agencies and the judiciary to the challenges posed by the new virtual criminal ecosystem based upon public-private governance.

Awareness Raising activities

PROPHETS will proactively raise stakeholders and citizen’s awareness of the risks and implications connected to public perceptions of cyber threats and vulnerabilities. The policy toolkit will also address the research-policy nexus, on how to better exploit results of innovation through vertical and horizontal practitioners focusing on policy-enabling bodies (EU institutions, COSI, SCIFA, Working Parties, security and judiciary networks like RAN, EJN, etc.)

PROPHETS will deliver the strategic outcomes through seven critical objectives that will encompass extensive research exploring the key factors that underpin cybercriminal and online terrorist behaviour. In particular, PROPHETS focuses on the psychological processes that transform vulnerable or influential internet users into participating or enabling cybercrime and cyberterrorism. PROPHETS is working to develop and create real-world Impact and will look to realise each of the following seven objectives through the research-to-reality paradigm that will deliver clear impacts and societal benefits specific to each objective.

 

Objective 1: Online Awareness, Capacity and Resilience Building

Objective 2: Understanding Online Material

Objective 3: Identifying Underlying Psychological Traits

Objective 4: Recognising Ethical, Moral and Legal Concerns

Objective 5: Exploring Cybercrime as a Service

Objective 6: Policy Shaping, Training and Public Engagement

Objective 7: Tools to Enhance Capabilities and Counter Radical Behaviours

 

PROPHETS website Click Here

Vox Pol

The VOX-Pol Network of Excellence (NoE) is a European Union Framework Programme 7 (FP7)-funded academic research network focused on researching the prevalence, contours, functions, and impacts of Violent Online Political Extremism and responses to it.

What is meant by ‘violent online political extremism’? VOX-Pol’s interest is in exploring how violent extremist politics plays out ‘online,’ by which is generally meant the Internet. In terms of the type of politics being referred to, it is political activity situated at the outermost ends (i.e. the extremities) of any political spectrum. The centre of any such spectrum is generally held to be moderate; extremism may thus be conceived as the opposite, in either direction, of moderation. The problem with this approach however is that it is highly dependent on identification of the ‘centre’ (i.e. moderates), which in itself can be a highly subjective decision. The qualifier ‘violent’ is therefore employed here to describe VOX-Pol’s interest, which is in those that employ or advocate physical violence against other individuals and groups to forward their political objectives.

The extremist nature of the politics in which VOX-Pol is interested is thus not decided upon by project participants, but by the decision of those involved in particular types of politics to advocate or employ violence to advance their goals.

Why not employ more common terms such as ‘terrorism’ or ‘radicalisation’? There is no universally accepted definition of what constitutes terrorism and, in fact, the concept of ‘terrorism’ is highly contested and viewed by many with suspicion. For VOX-Pol’s purposes it is agreed that all acts of terrorism are of an extremist nature, but not all violent extremism fits common definitions of terrorism. The discourse of ‘violent radicalisation,’ on the other hand, has come to be associated almost exclusively with jihadi terrorism, but may conceivably be extended to national-separatists, the far Right, the extreme Left, etc. Either way, the role of the Internet in processes of violent online radicalisation and ultimately terrorism is a live issue and falls squarely within the remit of VOX-Pol.

The aim of the VOX-Pol Network of Excellence (NoE) is the comprehensive exploration of the many varieties of Violent Online Political Extremism, its societal impacts, and responses to it. To this end, project partners combine complementary expertise from a range of disciplines (e.g. Communications, Computer Science, Criminology, Ethics, International Relations, Politics).

Vox Pol website Click Here

PROTON

PROTON project aims at improving existing knowledge on the processes of recruitment to organised crime and terrorist networks through an innovative integration between social and computational sciences. Investigate the social, psychological and economic factors leading to organised crime and terrorist networks, including their connection with cybercrime and the cyberspace. The factors will be transformed into input for PROTON’s final outputs, PROTON-S and PROTON Wizard, designed for helping policy makers to act more effectively against organised crime and terrorist networks. Develop PROTON-S, agent-based modelling simulations of the effects of different societal and environmental changes on organised crime and terrorist networks. PROTON-S will generate virtual societies in a computer laboratory, enabling to test the impact of different scenarios on the evolution of organised crime and terrorist networks and the recruitment of individuals. Develop PROTON Wizard, a user-friendly software tool embedding the results of the simulations.  PROTON Wizard will provide the first support tool for policy makers at the international, national and local level, giving easy access to the most advanced scientific research.

PROTON’s impact will improve the quality of prevention policies directed towards organised crime and terrorist networks, while also providing significant innovations in the social, technological and computational sciences. Throughout the course of the project PROTON works closely with different policy makers and end-users in order to ensure that the final results address their specific needs and expectations.

PROTON website Click Here

TRIVALENT – terrorism prevention via radicalisation counter narrative

TRIVALENT is an EU funded project which aims to a better understanding of root causes of the phenomenon of violent radicalisation in Europe in order to develop appropriate countermeasures, ranging from early detection methodologies to techniques of counter-narrative.

On the assumption that to successfully contrast violent extremism it is needed a more balanced response, combining repressive with preventive measures, TRIVALENT project aims to a better understanding of root causes of the phenomenon of violent radicalisation in Europe, through a multidisciplinary analysis leading to a comprehensive approach, based on a firm commitment to respecting fundamental rights, promoting integration, cultural dialogue and fighting discrimination, in order to develop appropriate countermeasures, ranging from early detection methodologies to techniques of counter-narrative, involving LEAs together with academics, experts and civil society actors at local, national and European level, in collaboration also with communities of reference

 

Project Research Aims

  • To develop on the basis of a theoretical multidisciplinary study complex multidimensional models for better understanding the root-causes and related specific characteristics of violent radicalisation, defining different categories of radicalised individuals as well as providing a set of early detection indicators;
  • To critically assess strengths and weaknesses of different types of policies for countering radicalisation by testing them in the context of national and local experiences through a comparative analysis, with emphasis on best practices, aiming at the definition of a set of policy recommendations targeting different types of radicalised individuals;
  • To work out instruments for the analysis of specific online contents and communication codes used by extremist groups, with an aim to contribute to the creation of media communication strategies directed to spread, both online and offline, an alternative narrative and counter-narrative;
  • To study and contribute to improved information exchange and more effective means of cooperation, coordination and communication between LEAs, local authorities/communities and civil society actors;
  • To study and contribute to elaborate suitable means and countermeasures to prevent youth radicalisation in the families and at schools, as well as to develop measures to contrast the spreading of extremism among those detained;
  • To strengthen and update existing methodologies and to improve competencies, skills and characteristics of the practitioners involved in preventing, detecting or countering violent extremism;
  • To validate with LEAs partners, other practitioners and civil society actors, the results achieved by the research/study activities, and to disseminate them in the various institutional and social contexts.

TRIVALENT website Click Here