Domains instrument

The VERA-2R has five domains with indicators and a domain with additional indicators.

The first domain with seven indicators relating to beliefs, attitudes, and ideology is of essential importance in identifying the nature of the person’s violent extremism and the person’s support for using violence to further religious, political, social or other ideological goals.

The second domain with seven indicators is relevant to the social context and intention of the individual to act.

Cultural and social contexts such as personal contacts, family, and close friendships can serve to encourage the individual to use violence to achieve ideological goals.

It is the intention to act that distinguishes supporters and sympathizers from those who want to use violence to achieve ideological goals.

The third domain with six indicators is relevant to an individual’s ability to plan and carry out violent extremist actions. This can include a criminal violent past, a network of family and friends, specialized training the individual has received, and organisational capacities.

Motivations

The fourth domain identifies eight possible individual motivations identified as drivers of or pushing an individual to violent extremism. Several different motivations may play a role at the same time. They are important for understanding the individual’s risk and threat level.

The fifth domain relates to six risk-mitigating indicators that are related to a reinterpretation of ideology and disengagement from terrorism (Horgan, 2008; Bjørgo & Horgan, 2009). They are important for identifying positive changes in persons, both at a specific and continuum point of time.

The sixth domain contains 11 additional indicators in three subdomains that may impact the risk of individuals engaging in violent extremism and terrorism. Evidence suggests that past non-violent juvenile criminal activity, problematic personal histories, and mental disorders may contribute to a vulnerability to future engagement in violent extremism activities when in combination with ideological, contextual, and motivational indicators present in the VERA-2R (Huesmann, 2010; Gill, 2015; Borum, 2015; Meloy & Gill, 2016; Gill & Corner, 2017).

Supplementary indicators

Although the VERA-2R contains a comprehensive number of risk-increasing and risk-mitigating indicators, the instrument may be supplemented by other indicators that are considered to be important.

Since the estimated risk is based on professional judgement instead of on an actuarial or other fixed mathematical model, supplementary indicators can be added and considered in the determination of the final risk judgment. If supplementary indicators are used, space is available for these on the score form.

To give one example, it would be possible to consider an additional indicator related to dominance and/or leadership. This would pertain to an individual’s ability to influence, control and indoctrinate in the ‘Social context and intention’ domain (Bjørgo, 2011; Beevor, 2017; Gendron, 2017).