German Institute on Radicalization
and De-radicalization Studies


Welcome to the new homepage of the German Institute on Radicalization and De-radicalization Studies (GIRDS). As the first German research and network initiative focusing solely on the theory and practice of de-radicalization and counter-radicalization GIRDS is completely non-profit and independent. We are not institutionally bound and do not follow any partisan politics. GIRDS can be seen as transparent network of experts both from practical backgrounds and the academia aiming to foster the theoretical and practical development of de-radicalization methods, evaluation tools, training manuals, and concepts. GIRDS is open to all interested practitioners and researchers and we encourage you to contact us if you would like to participate and join us in striving for a free exchange of experiences and ideas to make de-radicalization and counter-radicalization more effective and sustainable.
GIRDS is also the only German network in the field certified by the ISDEP standard in recognizing radicalization and appropriate intervention. Daniel Koehler, Founder and Director

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New Database on Jihadist Terrorism in Germany

In addition to the Database on Terrorism in Germany (DTG) for right-wing extremism we have now completed the first dataset analysis for Jihadist terrorism in Germany (DTG-JI). Our current dataset includes 40 Jihadist terrorist plots and attacks on German soil since 2001 that caused a total of 14 casualties. We only included those plots and attacks that were directed against Germany and hatched from within the country. We excluded those plots that were directed against other countries or individuals outside of Germany (even if the plot originated in the country), as well as ‘membership’ crimes (i.e. membership in a foreign terrorist organization like ISIL), if the charges did not also include plotting, preparing or conducting a terrorist attack. We also excluded those plots against Germany being made from another country, if the plot did not lead to an attack on German soil, for the lack of information. Like for our DTG-RWX dataset we used a wide collection of information sources, such as court documents, verdicts, press articles, intelligence reports and interviews with formers.

We will continuously update the dataset whenever new plots or attacks happen. Currently, we work on preparing an analytical report about the main characteristics of Jihadist terrorism in Germany for publication. Due to a lack of funding we are currently not able to provide a full online based and searchable database.

For any inquiries about the dataset please reach out to us via contact[at]

Official Mothers for Life Chapter Started in UK

On Monday November 21st 2016 one of our Mothers for Life – Nicola Benyahia – went public to tell the world about her story and how she lost her son to ISIS. In this extraordinary and multimedia BBC piece she also announced her new family counseling Project Families for Life, which is the first fully trained CVE family counseling program in the UK and an official chapter of our unique global Mothers for Life Network. Nicola was personally trained by our Director Daniel Koehler to conduct counseling in counter-radicalization and will spearhead our efforts to build strong and high quality deradicalization programs in the United Kingdom.

New Publication on Right-Wing Terrorism Based on Our Database

Published by Routledge the currently most extensive study on right-wing terrorism in Germany based on our unique Database on Terrorism in Germany is now available for ordering. The study has already received international praise:

One would have thought that German academics after 1945 would make right-wing political violence a major object of study – if only for the reason of history not repeating itself. However, avoidance of, rather than focus on, terrorism from the far right has been the reality. Now, 70 years after the defeat of National-Socialism, there is finally a longitudinal empirical analysis of political violence from the right. Based on a comprehensive database and a solid conceptual framework, Daniel Koehler has tested – and found wanting – the two most widely used theories on the phenomenon and thereby cleared the ground for a new understanding of what unfortunately is likely to be a rising phenomenon. A remarkable achievement – and long overdue.

Prof. em. Alex P. Schmid, Director, Terrorism Research Initiative (TRI); Editor-in-Chief, Perspectives on Terrorism (PT); Research Fellow, International Centre for Counter-Terrorism – The Hague

Daniel Koehler has written an important and timely book on a critical dimension of terrorism studies that lamentably has received insufficient attention: extreme right-wing violence in Europe. His focus on Germany sheds light on the motives, networks, aspirations and the threat posed by this small, but ambitiously lethal and stubbornly persistent entity. This excellent work is noteworthy for to the thoroughness of the author’s research, the compelling analysis he presents and unsettling conclusions he reaches.

Professor Bruce Hoffman, Director, Center for Security Studies, Georgetown University, USA

Daniel Koehler’s new book is the most comprehensive study available on right-wing terrorism in Germany and also an important contribution to research on right-wing terrorism in general. His conceptual clarity and comprehensive collection of data makes for an admirable work of scholarship.

Prof. Dr. Tore Bjørgo, Director of Center for the Study of Extremism: Right-Wing Extremism, Hate Crime and Political Violence (C-REX), University of Oslo, Norway

Daniel Köhler has written the most comprehensive account to date of right-wing terrorism in post-WWII Germany. The German case is critically important, not only because of its historical legacies, but also because Germany remains Western Europe’s definitive hotbed when it comes to contemporary right-wing militancy and violence. Köhler effectively sheds light on key actors and events from the past, while at the same time demonstrating that right-wing terrorism has become a continuous yet conceptually and legally elusive type of threat in Germany and beyond – a threat that will require more attention in the future.

Jacob Assland Ravndal,Center for Research on Extremism (C-REX), University of Oslo, Norway