Center on Terrorism, Extremism, and Counterterrorism
The Center on Terrorism, Extremism, and Counterterrorism (CTEC) conducts in-depth research on terrorism and other forms of extremism.
CTEC honors and remembers our friend and colleague, Mike Donnelly. His contributions to the Center and to MIIS will never be forgotten. If you would like to learn more about the Michael Donnelly CTEC Research Fellowship, click here.
Formerly known as the Monterey Terrorism Research and Education Program, CTEC collaborates with world-renowned faculty and their graduate students in the Middlebury Institute’s Nonproliferation and Terrorism Studies degree program.
Our research informs private, government, and multilateral institutional understanding of and responses to terrorism threats. CTEC is a mixed-methods research center, meaning that our experts and students use analytic tradecraft, data science, and linguistics. We mentor our students and the wider MIIS community on skills that are in demand from government agencies, international organizations, technology companies, and financial institutions.
While CTEC is affiliated with MIIS’s Nonproliferation and Terrorism Studies (NPTS) department, we also employ faculty and students from across MIIS and Middlebury College.
CTEC analyzes an array of media platforms to better understand how extremist messaging motivates individuals to carry out acts of violence. CTEC’s research on terrorist use of the Internet enhances both public and private-sector understanding of terrorist recruitment and fundraising.
CTEC partners with technology companies to assist in developing better, more contextual, and more flexible policies and tools to handle online extremist content. Read more about our partnership with Spectrum Labs here.
Threat Finance and Sanctions
Working with the Institute’s Financial Crime Management program, CTEC studies and provides expert policy guidance on terrorism, criminal, and nonproliferation-related financing. In addition to counterterrorism financing and counterproliferation financing investigations and regulatory compliance, CTEC’s research highlights cases of sanctions evasion and examines the efficacy of terrorism-related sanctions imposed multilaterally by the U.S. government and other governments.
In collaboration with fintech and cryptocurrency companies, CTEC undertakes in-depth research to understand the use of online fundraising platforms and methods by terrorists and extremists.
CTEC’s focus on mixed-methods analysis allows us to stay at the bleeding edge of new technologies like artificial intelligence in order to understand implications and consequences. Read more about CTEC’s partnership with OpenAI here.
CTEC is integrated into the curriculum of several Middlebury Institute degree and certificate programs, giving students opportunities to gain real-world work experience as paid research assistants:
CTEC is home to one of the first dedicated research initiatives to the study of militant accelerationism, called the Accelerationism Threat Assessment and Research Initiative. Led by Senior Research Scholar Matt Kriner, this initiative is at the cutting edge of mixed-methods analysis for understanding, mitigating, and preventing accelerationist violence.
The Michael Donnelly Fellowship, named in honor of our late friend and colleague, carries forward his legacy by supporting two underrepresented MIIS students each year with demonstrated financial need through a funded research position.
Jason Blazakis, director of the Institute’s Center on Terrorism, Extremism, and Counterterrorism (CTEC), commented on the continued threat posed by the Oath Keepers and Proud Boys after Jan. 6 in TIME.