Very much looking forward to seeing insights coming from a number of projects trying to get a data-driven handle on terrorism around the world. Hopefully this will allow us all to push back on some of the sillier political and media reports.

First off, a definition. Terrorism is:

The threatened or actual use of illegal force and violence by a non-state actor to attain a political, economic, religious, or social goal through fear, coercion, or intimidation.

If only we could drop religious from the list: it is a subset of social, after all.

This: yes!

Radicalization suffers from a lack of data,” said Patrick James, a researcher at the center. “And that’s a problem — it’s hard to form an effective response to something if you don’t have an empirical basis for studying it. You can’t distinguish between people who are likely to commit violence and people who aren’t. That’s the real golden goose we’re trying to get.