CETIS is a research center dedicated to the study of terrorist groups, political and religious extremism, and various types of covert intelligence operations. CETIS researchers focus above all on understanding the ideological motivations, and secondarily on assessing the operational methods and capabilities, of terrorist groups, two crucially important matters that are too often neglected by other experts who concentrate on target vulnerabilities and incident consequences.

In an effort to enhance the understanding of contemporary security threats and make an analytical contribution to the improvement of existing national and international counterterrorist and intelligence-gathering measures, the Center undertakes in-depth empirical research and innovative analyses of the threats posed by a diverse array of sub-state groups and, where necessary, their covert state sponsors.