The paradox of progress: How ‘disruptive,’ ‘dual-use,’ ‘democratized,’ and ‘diffused’ technologies shape terrorist innovation

Authors

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.14512/tatup.33.2.22

Keywords:

terrorist innovation, emerging technologies, unmanned aerial systems, additive manufacturing

Abstract

Building upon the existing literature on terror innovation, this research article introduces a new analytical framework that highlights four key elements of emerging technologies which facilitate their adoption by terrorist groups. We posit that technologies that are inherently ‘disruptive,’ ‘dual-use,’ ‘democratized,’ and ‘diffused’ are particularly susceptible to misuse by terrorists, and that it is the interplay between these factors that helps to drive future directions of tech-enabled terror. We draw on terror and extremist interest in and use of two key technology areas – unmanned aerial systems and additive manufacturing, specifically 3‑D‑printed firearms – as examples to highlight how the factors in the framework interact and how they help to drive innovative terror behavior. We conclude with a series of concise recommendations to mitigate harmful terrorist use of these and other disruptive technologies and limit the impact of future tech-enabled terrorist innovations.

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Published

28.06.2024

How to Cite

1.
Rassler D, Veilleux-Lepage Y. The paradox of progress: How ‘disruptive,’ ‘dual-use,’ ‘democratized,’ and ‘diffused’ technologies shape terrorist innovation. TATuP [Internet]. 2024 Jun. 28 [cited 2024 Jul. 25];33(2):22-8. Available from: https://www.tatup.de/index.php/tatup/article/view/7116