SHIELD: Conceptualising solutions to protect places of worship against terrorist threats
The SHIELD project will produce innovative solutions and concepts to protect places of worship from terrorist attacks, bringing together researchers, security practitioners, industry and religious representatives. In order to achieve this goal, SHIELD will carry out an in-depth analysis of past terrorist attacks, conceptualise corresponding security measures and validate them through a simulation.
SHIELD “Solutions to enhance Interfaith protection of places of worship from terrorist danger” is an innovative project, funded by the European Commission through the Internal Security Fund – Police (ISFP) framework programme. The aim of the project is to protect places of worship from terrorist attacks.
The project connects religious communities and representatives with security practitioners, law enforcement agencies (LEAs), municipalities, experts in risk detection and technological partners to identify critical points in places of worship as well as circumstances and rituals that are exposed to potential terrorist attacks.
Grounded in an analysis of previous attacks, SHIELD will identify risks and sensitive points, develop new preventive measures and adapt existing technologies to potential attacks likely to be perpetrated. In addition, tailored recommendations and guidelines for LEAs and religious representatives will be outlined to support the implementation of common protocols to prevent and mitigate the impact of potential attacks.
In order to ensure the uptake and familiarise stakeholders with the obtained insights and conceptualised measures, training sessions will be implemented throughout the project´s duration. In the end of the project, a simulation of the conceptualised security measures and protocols will be implemented to assess their practical feasibility as well as effectiveness. The refined results and outcomes of SHIELD will, among other networking activities, be disseminated via workshops among relevant stakeholders, including EU policymakers and the general public.
Overall, the project is divided into three main phases:
- The first phase consists of a risk assessment of places of worship and religious buildings, especially for Christianity, Judaism and Islam, based on a review of previous terrorist attacks. This first step will help to identify potential vulnerabilities.
- The next phase focuses on the identification of best practices and related security measures, leading to an overview of existing methodologies, technologies and procedures to assess their replicability in order to mitigate the previously identified vulnerabilities and risks.
- In the third phase, in order to evaluate the methodological solutions identified, a simulation will be implemented, supported by training and information materials and developed within the project. This will allow SHIELD to not only raise awareness on the identified risks and counter-measures but also to assess their effectiveness.
In order to achieve these goals, the SHIELD project will bring together the expertise and experience of 18 partners from 10 different countries, ranging from security practitioners to industry and religious representatives and academia. Overall, the project partners will invest a total of 569 person-months in the project within a period of 24 months. SYNYO coordinates the project and strongly participates in the related research activities, drawing lessons from the coordination and implementation of related projects like TAKEDOWN.
Protection, worship, terrorism, law enforcement agencies, surveillance