Center for Asymmetric Threat Studies (CATS)

Focusing on asymmetric threats in the Information Age.



Preventing Violent Islamist Extremism in Third Countries

The security complications with young men seeking to join armed groups in conflict zones such as Somalia, Pakistan, and Syria have increased in many European states. In December 2011, the Swedish Cabinet (Department of Justice) assigned CATS to conduct a study on preventing violent extremism in third countries.

The study exemplifies 'good' practices with preventing violent extremism with a focus on actions taken by civil society and on local level – both within the EU and Pakistan and Somalia. The results and recommendations on actions need to be taken in Sweden was presented to Birgitta Ohlsson, the Cabinet Minister for Democracy.

Recommendations included increased coordination between agencies and cooperation with civil society, education and training, implementing a national coordinator, establishing a center with mentoring and education, and legal actions.


Provisional IRA: Learning and Innovation

The conflict in Northern Ireland has been one of Europe's most intractable conflicts over the last three decades. Provisional IRA has been a central protagonist to the conflict and is one of the most sophisticated terrorist organizations around in terms of modus operandi, counter-surveillance, terror tactics and technical expertise (development of IEDs) in waging a protracted terror campaign in Northern Ireland and on the UK mainland.

On 17 April 2012, CATS hosted a closed expert seminar entitled 'PIRA – Lessons Learned' with contributions from the leading academics on 'the Troubles' and unique practitioner insights into the dynamics of PIRA political and military strategy, the evolution of its tactical innovation and bomb-making skills, the view from inside the organization and those that battle it from the frontlines as well as the lessons learned in terms of conflict resolution and peace-building.

This report constitute a part of a wider research project – where Dr. Magnus Ranstorp is the principal investigator – supported by the Civil Contingency Agency into terrorist learning and innovation in EU and the consequences for planning and protection of critical infrastructure.

Download the report in full-text: Terrorism Learning and Innovation (PDF, 944 kB)


Fusion Centres – Lessons Learned

After the September 11th terrorist attacks in 2001 in the USA, it became apparent to many countries that coordination functions between intelligence and security services must be strengthened. There was a dramatic boost in the number of fusions centres. This can be explained by the increased need for cooperation between various intelligence and security services in order to meet the threat of terrorism which was perceived as increasingly acute.

In 2003, Britain established the JTAC, and thereafter, several European countries followed suit. The traditional legal boundaries since the Cold War between foreign intelligence services and domestic security services needed to be reviewed in the light of the increased terrorist threat where the distinctions became increasingly obsolete.

This study examines different solutions to this challenge. It deals with fusion centres at the national level, and examines future ambitions.

Download the full report: Fusion Centres - Lessons Learned (PDF, 765 kB)


Commentary on Urmas Reinsalu's article: In Sweden, we think cyber-training is going to be key


English Defence League is exporting far-right tactics to Europe, says new CATS report in partnership with King's College London

Centre for Asymmetric Threat Studies (CATS) at the Swedish National Defence College and The International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation and Political Violence (ICSR) at King's College London have published a new report: 'A Neo-Nationalist Network: The English Defence League and Europe's Counter-Jihad Movement.'

Download full report at ICSR Home page (PDF, )