Barton Dunant
12 min readJun 16, 2021

Domestic Violent Extremists: U.S. Impacts from European Vehicle Ramming Attacks

SWOT — Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats

As part of a standard “SWOT” Analysis — the aspect of Domestic Violent Extremists (DVEs) is an important set of Threats that create Risks for any country’s Emergency Management practitioners. Emergency Managers, not just Law Enforcement, need to keep in mind their organization’s disaster readiness (resiliency) along the standard path of Protect/Prevent/Prepare, Respond, Recover and Mitigate — includes the adverse impacts that can be generated by these specific threats and others. Tools and techniques — along with the organization’s strengths of collaboration, coordination, cooperation and communication — to and from the military and civilian intelligence agencies can assist Emergency Management practitioners at all levels of government. It is crucial that Emergency Managers understand the risks of any threat — and the possibility of adverse impacts to not only the communities they serve, but their own workforce (inclusive of all incident command and control structures) and those of allied partners. The training, indoctrination, methodologies and tradecraft of Foreign Terrorist Organizations (FTO) can be seen in many of these DVE’s — whether they are directly influenced and/or sponsored (such as the Homegrown Violent Extremists or HVEs) or are indirectly studied and researched by the DVEs.

Extremist vs. Terrorist: Should it matter to Emergency Management Practitioners?

There are obstacles to information sharing between the U.S. Intelligence community and state/local law enforcement agencies, most from the USA Patriot Act. Designation as terrorism may or may not bring additional benefits to threat Protection and Prevention (two elements of Disaster Readiness, for which Emergency Management practitioners are responsible for — outweighing the impacts to U.S. civil liberties.


Using the experience and knowledge from historical DVE attacks in Europe by means of Vehicle Ramming Attacks (VRAs), can assist Emergency Management practitioners (not just Law Enforcement Officials) with Protection and Prevention missions. This Intelligence is also applicable to the Response Phase Incident Action Planning, to Unified Command for

Barton Dunant

Emergency Management Consulting and Training. We advocate for safety and security issues at home and the workplace. Visit us on the web at bartondunant.com