Information Sharing: A Key Component to Preventing Targeted Violence with Behavioral Threat Assessment & Management Strategies

In the wake of recent targeted violence attacks, it is essential to reiterate the need for information sharing. Targeted violence attacks can be fueled by many things, from personal grievances to extremist ideologies to delusional beliefs, and they pose significant threats to individuals, organizations, and society as a whole.

Behavioral threat assessment and management strategies can prevent targeted violence attacks. However, in order to assess and manage a subject, the subject’s identity needs to be known. In last month’s attack on congressional staffers, at least one organization knew of the subject; however, the subject attacked another organization. Potential attackers may have multiple targets, shift their fixation to other targets, attack targets of opportunity, or shift to a different target when their original plan is thwarted. This situation emphasizes the paramount importance of information sharing between organizations—both public and private—to identify potential threats and protect potential targets.

By sharing relevant information across organizations and agencies, we can create a comprehensive network of awareness and enhance our ability to prevent targeted violence attacks. One essential component of information sharing in the United States is the National Network of Fusion Centers. These centers bring together representatives from federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial agencies, as well as private sector partners, to serve as vital hubs for receiving, analyzing, and disseminating information related to threats, including targeted violence. Fusion centers gather tips, leads, and suspicious activity reports (SARs) from local agencies and the public.

Government agencies, private organizations, and individuals can actively contribute to the information sharing ecosystem by engaging with fusion centers. This includes sharing relevant information and reporting concerns. To contact any fusion center located across the country, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) maintains a comprehensive list on their website:

To prevent targeted violence effectively, we must prioritize information sharing and collaboration. Here are key actions to consider:

Engage with Fusion Centers:

  • Familiarize yourself with the National Network of Fusion Centers and their operations in your area
  • Connect with your local fusion center to learn more about their capabilities and how you can contribute to the information sharing process

Share Relevant Information:

  • Actively participate in information sharing initiatives by reporting concerns, providing tips, and sharing relevant information related to potential threats or suspicious activities
  • Encourage your organization to establish channels for confidential reporting and develop protocols to ensure the timely dissemination of information

Foster Collaboration and Training:

  • Promote collaboration among organizations, agencies, and community partners
  • Emphasize your organization’s programs that educate personnel on recognizing behavioral indicators

By embracing a culture of information sharing, collaboration, and proactive prevention, we can prevent targeted violence attacks with behavioral threat assessment and management strategies.