The project focussed on creating new insights on radicalisation, extremism and terrorism. The partners conducted empirical research and developed a multidimensional model for analysing and assessing the risk of individual cases. Furthermore, the research insights as well as the requirements were also taken into account for the development of two online platforms, which are addressing the needs of first-line-practitioners and law enforcement agencies.
Against the background of the analysis of the existing body of knowledge and relevant European as well as national policies in this field, the partners conducted both quantitative and qualitative research in different countries and with a variety of stakeholder groups. The main aim was to get insights on the actual challenges, the phenomenon of the “nexus” of organized crime and terrorism as well as on the user requirements for the platform development.
Coordinated by SYNYO GmbH (AT), a total of 18 partners including the Euro-Arab Foundation (Spain), Autonomous University of Barcelona (ES), Middlesex University (UK), University of Leeds (UK), ETH Zurich – Center for Security Studies (CH), Technion Israel Institute of Technology (Israel), Czech Technical University (CZ), Technische Universität Darmstadt (DE), Agenfor Italia (IT), Center for the Study of Democracy (BG), Peace Action Training and Research Institute of Romania (RO), University of Security Management in Kosice (SK), Leuven Security Excellence Consortium vzw (BE), Agency for European Integration & Economic Development (AT), Valencia City Council – Local Police (ES), Police Academy in Szczytno (PL) and Cloud security Alliance (UK) conducted in-depth research.
In the following sections, the core outputs that have been developed during the project and that include and combine the results of the work are highlighted.
Publications are part of the common dissemination and communication strategies of EU-projects. While the partners published several journal articles and papers in conference proceedings, a major achievement of the TAKEDOWN project was the actual physical publication of an edited volume. In this book, the main outcomes of the H2020-project “TAKEDOWN: Understand the Dimensions of Organised Crime and Terrorist Networks for Developing Effective and Efficient Security Solutions for First-line-practitioners and Professionals”, which has been funded by the European Commission through the framework program Horizon 2020 (H2020) in the course of the call “Fight against crime and Terrorism” (FCT-16-2015) are provided. The edited volume “Organized Crime and Terrorist Networks” has been published by Routledge in August 2019.
In addition to the research outputs, main outputs are the two online platforms, which have been developed in the TAKEDOWN project.
The www.firstlinepractitioners.com platform aims at providing information, services and tools for supporting first-line-practitioners as well as researchers and the public. The following figure provides an overview of the core functionalities of this open service and information platform.
The second platform www.fightcrimeterrorism.com has a different focus and is therefore conceptualized as a closed platform for registered and authorized users. It provides services as well as a market place, where law enforcement agencies can find the latest solutions. Especially SMEs are invited to present their products and solutions on this market place and get access to LEAs all over Europe. This particular platform therefore also intends to support the European security industry. The following figure provides an overview of the core functionalities of this closed platform.
Many European projects are facing the challenge that while research results remain available through online repositories of journals or in libraries, online platforms that are developed and used during projects are facing severe problems when it comes to the long-term sustainability. As it becomes apparent when browsing through H2020 projects in the field of security, a vast number of online platforms have been developed in the past years as part of European projects. Depending on the target group and the purpose of the platforms, we consider at least three major challenges of having several online instances addressing similar target groups:
- First, many platforms provide similar content or resources. Although they might have a slightly different focus or are presented (structured) in a different way, there are often overlaps and duplications.
- Second, the more platforms are released, the less traffic and visibility each of them will have – especially if they are targeting the same or similar user groups. Hence, it also becomes more difficult to establish a system of maintenance, which can only be ensured, if a platform is actually relevant and “worth” to maintain.
- Third, even if an exploitation strategy is provided and attempts for making use of the platforms are made, platforms are often branded by a project and usually they aren’t maintained anymore. Hence, the platforms get outdated after a while.
Therefore, the TAKEDOWN project decided for non-project but target group branded platforms and to therefore establish dedicated brands for the platforms. For ensuring the long-term sustainability, SYNYO furthermore decided to also present the option to join forces on the FirstLinePractitioners platform to the consortia of the H2020-project MINDb4ACT as well as to the ISFP-projects CHAMPIONs and ARMOUR, where SYNYO is involved as a partner. All projects agreed to follow this joint approach and to make the outcomes available through FirstLinePractitioners by developing dedicated information and services modules and by providing information and new tools. The projects do, however, not only benefit by making use of a well-established instance and (yet agile) development approach, but also through the dedicated platform First-Line-Practitioners Twitter account, where project outputs and new platform content can be promoted.
Terrorism, organized crime, extremism, online platform, edited volume, Routledge, sustainability, nexus