About the project Digital Seismograph: Monitoring Terrorism

The project Digital Seismograph: Monitoring Terrorism observes and analyzes current developments in right-wing terrorism online through systematic monitoring as well as qualitative, quantitative, and OSINT-guided research. It provides analysis and evidence-based policy recommendations on this basis for civil society, media, and politics.

Analysis and research on current phenomena and cases

Modern right-wing terrorist phenomena are transnational. By continuously monitoring international trends, potential developments in the area of right-wing terrorism in Germany can be identified at an early stage. The project therefore views itself in part as an early warning system for right-wing terrorist activities in Germany.

Systematic monitoring of online right-wing terrorist subcultures makes it possible to accurately assess movements and threat scenarios. To this end, the project monitors and evaluates the scene’s digital activities not just on the major social media platforms, but also on new, alternative platforms. Supported by our own qualitative and quantitative investigations, evidence-based policy recommendations will be developed for political decision-makers and security authorities as well as for the operators of online platforms.

More in-depth OSINT (open-source intelligence) analyses concerning the digital activities of (potential) right-wing terrorist perpetrators provide information on their ideological orientation and can thus reveal the political dimension of their (prevented) acts. This analysis also sheds light on individual radicalization paths. These have formed a major research gap to date, but are a central component of effective prevention work.

At regular intervals, the project will provide monitoring reports and research papers on current developments for central gate keepers and actors from politics, civil society, and the media.

Critical support for public authorities

The digital traces of right-wing terrorist perpetrators often pose significant challenges for security authorities. The investigations surrounding the terrorist attack in Halle, for example, revealed large gaps, and even in court proceedings, there is often still an insufficient understanding of the significance of the digital activities of (thwarted) right-wing terrorists as well as the digital networks in which they are involved. The project will provide critical support for these official processes.

The project aims to form a network with key players from government, media, security authorities and online platforms. For more information, contact dsmt@cemas.io.

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