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Terrorism in the Workplace

Updated: Aug 6, 2020

Steven Crimando, principal at Behavioral Science Applications, wrote an important article stressing the importance of recognizing the connection between workplace violence and terrorism. To recognize and underscore our current reality, he urges the expansion of the current OSHA’s workplace violence categories to now include an additional fifth category, labeled ideological violence.

Ideological workplace violence includes attacks targeted at an organization, its employees or its properties for religious, philosophical or political reasons. This type of violence is motivated both by international terrorist groups and by domestic terrorism, including anti-government, environmental and animal rights groups.

OSHA’s current traditional categories are workplace violence:

  • Occurring during the act of committing another crime, such as robbery or illegal trespassing.

  • Enacted by a client, customer or patient of an organization or employee during routine services.

  • Performed by a current or former employee on a co-worker or supervisor.

  • Implemented by an intimate partner or domestic violence towards an employee that has been extended to the workplace.

Employees and supervisors should be trained to identify and to report not only the warning signs of these traditional types of workplace violence but also the different cautionary behaviors that signal potential employee terrorism from homegrown violence extremists and from global terrorist organizations.

You can read the whole article, The Case for an Expanded Workplace Violence Typology: Improving Threat Detection Capabilities, at

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