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New research project to track terrorism

OU researchers are part of a new €2.7 million EU Horizon 2020 project to track terrorism.

TRIVALENT (Terrorism preventIon Via rAdicaLisation countEr-NarraTive), aims to achieve a better understanding of factors constituting violent radicalisation in Europe.

TRIVALENT’s goal is to create a more comprehensive understanding of terrorism, by investigating its offline and online patterns and causes at the individual level, and developing appropriate countermeasures such early detection methodologies. It will do this through working with law enforcement agencies and experts and civil society actors at local, national and European level.

The TRIVALENT team at the OU, led by Harith Alani, Professor of Web Science at the OU’s Knowledge Media institute will research and develop advanced data processing and analysis algorithms to detect online radicalisation behaviour and networks, and to categorise certain social media accounts according to their apparent radicalisation stance.

Professor Alani said: “This is the first time we have a pan European research project to investigate the automatic detection of early signs of radicalisation on social media, which can be used to prevent vulnerable and misinformed people from drifting further into extremists’ ideologies.“

The project, funded under the SECURITY 2016 call for proposals, and will run from March 2017 to April 2020.

It is coordinated by the Università degli Studi Roma Tre (Italia), and there are 21 partners from Belgium (Lokale Politie Voorkempen, Ecole Royale Militaire - Koninklijke Militaire School), France (Viseo Technologies), Israel (Interdisciplinary Center (IDC) Herzliya), Italy (Universitá Roma Tre, Zanasi Alessandro SRL, Tecoms SRL, Città di Torino, Ministero dell' Interno), Latvia (DP Latvia, Iekslietu ministrijas Valsts Policija State Police of the Ministry of Interior), Poland (Komenda Wojewodzka Policji z siedziba w Radomiu, Polish National Police Headquarters (Komenda Główna Policji), Provincial Police Headquarters in Gdansk), Portugal (Direçao General de Reinserçao e Servicos Prisionais)), Spain (UPM and Expert Systems Iberia) and United Kingdom (The Open University).

Professor Harith Alani

Professor of Web Science

Knowledge Media Institute

Faculty of Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics

Professional biography