The director of the National Institute of Justice (NIJ) discusses major areas of research funded by NIJ and efforts to address the problem of international terrorism.
Progress has been made in researching domestic terrorism and ways to deal with it. Technology research has focused on less-than-lethal weapons. Other research has focused on developing model response plans and training materials for State and local police and on improving airport security. This year international terrorism is a focus, because the total number of incidents and the incidents directed against Americans have both increased sharply in the first quarter of this year in comparison to the same period last year. No consensus exists among Western nations regarding how to deal with terrorism. However, the crucial element of control efforts is the improvement of cooperation among nations. Improved security and improved international cooperation in criminal justice matters are both needed. Technical research sponsored by NIJ has potential applications to international terrorism.