Strengths and limitations

The VERA-2R indicators are based on empiricism and on expert knowledge in the field of radicalization and violent extremism.

Valid evaluations are necessarily dependent on the quality and completeness of information on the indicators. The VERA-2R cannot predict who in the general population will become a violent extremist or terrorist. The instrument does however offer a systematic professional analysis of the risk by applying relevant and transparent risk indicators for violent extremism. The VERA-2R may be used to establish the risk status for detainees or persons under supervision in relation to violent extremism. It can also provide support for preventive programs and decisions on priorities for supervision of individuals. Regular and systematic re-assessments are possible due to the dynamic nature of various risk indicators.

Predictive validity is problematic due to the low base rate of terrorists and violent extremists. Moreover, extremists and terrorists may change their strategies, make unexpected decisions and use unpredictable triggers. Unpredictable and dynamic factors such as events at a personal, local or global level can also trigger unexpected violent acts. Due to such triggers and other dynamic factors, risks are time and context sensitive and are not able to be predicted with certainty. For each evaluation, limitations in the assessment must be clearly identified.