Author Biography

Brigit Davis is a consultant for a global technology and consulting company with 17 years of experience in the Intelligence field. She served in the United States Air Force from 2001-2009 and has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Intelligence Studies and a Master of Arts degree in Intelligence Operations from American Military University. She is currently a doctoral student at the Henley Putnam School of Strategic Security, National American University.



Subject Area Keywords

Counterterrorism, Global trends and risks, Terrorism / counterterrorism, Violent extremism


Violent extremist organizations (VEOs) are the focus of an extensive amount of research by academic and government entities, some of whom have devised complex forecasting methodologies. This study takes a step back from these methodologies and provides one that uses simple mathematical computations (that is, percentages and modes) while still providing slightly more granularity than currently available forecasts. By using data from the University of Maryland Global Terrorism Database and the Terrorism Research and Analysis Consortium, this study identifies trends related to the number of emerging VEOs, ideology types, locations of emergence/operation, attack types, target types, and disbandment. These trends have remained relatively consistent for 25 years and are the basis for a forecast that looks at what the global VEO threat is likely to look like in the next 5 to 10 years. Of fundamental interest are 18 countries that have a higher probability of multiple VEOs emerging within a single year: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Egypt, India, Iraq, Israel, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Pakistan, Palestine, Philippines, Russia, Somalia, Sudan, and Syria. This study also engages in a qualitative discussion on what these trends may mean for the United States, and tangentially the international community, as VEOs continue to pose a significant threat locally, regionally, and nationally.


I want to thank Robert Rehbein for his support and encouragement throughout this process. Without his help, this study would not be what it is today.