Science and technology has a central role both in the evolving terrorist threat and in our efforts to counter it.
Modern technology has handed terrorists powerful new tools and techniques, such as rapid global communications, or new explosive materials. Terrorists have been quick to exploit the communications revolution to spread propaganda, raise funds, plan operations recruit and train. Some groups aspire to use chemical, biological, radiological and even nuclear materials to mount more lethal attacks.
Using science to counter the threat
Our approach to harness science in order to counter the threat from such technically-aware terrorists is described in our 2009 science and technology strategy for Countering International Terrorism. We have an on-going programme for the procurement of research solutions from a range of sources across government, industry and academia to support this.
We actively seek scientific and technological solutions to terrorist threats. We have set seven key counter-terrorism challenges where we believe science and technology will have an impact to:
- understand the causes of radicalisation
- protect the national infrastructure
- reduce the vulnerability of crowded places
- protect against cyber terrorism
- improve analytical tools
- identify, detect and counter novel and improvised explosives
- understand and counter chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and explosive threats (CBRNE)
If you have an idea or a question about how science and technology can contribute to countering terrorism, email the science and technology team.