10/07/2009 - Harwell
The scale and nature of the threat we face today is radically different from what we have dealt with in recent decades. This is a new form of terrorism. It exploits modern technologies both to radicalise young people and support acts of terrorism. It is pursued by different groups: networks directed from abroad, as well as by ‘self starter’ groups or rogue individuals here in the UK. The one common factor is that these terrorists remain committed to inflicting mass casualties.. They do not give warnings and have shown a readiness to use suicide tactics and the majority of their attacks have as a primary intent the deaths of large numbers of people. While there have been attacks against well protected targets around the world, the trend is for terrorists to attack crowded public places.
Levels of protective security in crowded places must be proportionate to the risk. They must ensure that if a terrorist attack does take place any loss of life or serious injury are minimised. However, individuals and businesses must be free to carry on normal social, economic and democratic activities and, as a result, there will always be some vulnerability to terrorist attack.
It is difficult to detect terrorists in crowded places because they can easily conceal themselves within the crowd. Factors that may distinguish them from the benign majority are the tools of their trade (eg weapons), their behaviour and their intent. A great deal of effort is focussed on detecting the tools. In this instance we would like to concentrate on intent and behaviour.
OSCT is seeking innovative approaches to understand, characterise, detect and influence intent in crowded places with a view to reducing the risk of terrorist attacks. Proposals are sought across a range of domains eg contextual, behavioural, physiological and neurological. Novel, inventive and lateral thinking is particularly welcome. Successful proposals will be sponsored by INSTINCT, the OSCT Innovation Programme.
The CDE hosted event will be a mixture of presentations and informal discussions. It will provide attendees with further context on “Intent in crowded places”, and background information on the INSTINCT programme.
Intent in Crowded Places
CDE Portal guidance for call
Intent in Crowded Places Call Document