RUSI State Threats Taskforce (STT)

RUSI’s State Threats Taskforce (STT) aims to support the UK and its partners in detecting, understanding, attributing and responding to the spectrum of complex state threats currently facing democracies.

Chin Leong Teoh / Alamy Stock Photo

The rapidly rising threat posed by hostile state activity is complex and multi-faceted, yet all too often, the UK’s responses remain siloed.

Although not new, non-military state-led threats come in many and often hybrid organisational forms, bridging more specific threats such as malign cyber operations, state-based organised crime and the financing of anti-democratic activities. As noted in the UK’s latest Serious and Organised Crime Strategy, ‘The distinction between nation states and criminal groups in terms of cyber-crime is becoming frequently more blurred’.

The extent to which the UK government acknowledges these threats can be seen in the 2021 Integrated Review, the proliferation of 'Counter State Threat' policy units across Whitehall, and the activities of the National Cyber Security Centre.

With this heightened government focus in mind, in January 2023 RUSI, created a track 2 cross-disciplinary State Threats Taskforce (STT) that draws on the expertise of the Institute's Cyber, Organised Crime, and Financial Crime programmes to provide input into the policy debate at this crucial time.

Chin Leong Teoh / Alamy Stock Photo

Aims and objectives

As the UK’s 2021 Integrated Review notes, the UK ‘must improve [its] ability – and that of [its] allies and partners – to detect, understand, attribute and act in response to the spectrum of state threats’. It is to this mission that the STT intends to contribute.

Through a range of activities and other outputs, the overall objective of the STT is to deepen understanding of the specific dynamics of non-military state threats and offer ideas for realistic policy responses for both the UK and its allies.

Taskforce members*

The Lord Evans of Weardale KCB DL

Distinguished Fellow

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Professor Mark Galeotti

Senior Associate Fellow; Principal Director, Mayak Intelligence

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Jonathan Groom

Financial Crime Leader & Intelligence Executive

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Tom Keatinge

Director, CFCS

Centre for Financial Crime and Security Studies

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Rhianna King

Strategic Cyber Threat Intelligence Team Lead, SecAlliance

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Dr Matthew Levitt

Director of the Counterterrorism & Intelligence Program at The Washington Institute for Near East Policy

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Toby Lewis

Global Head of Threat Analysis, Darktrace

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Jamie MacColl

Research Fellow


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Professor Heather Marquette

Professor of Development Politics, University of Birmingham

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Carl Miller

Partner, CASM Technology

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Professor Lynette Ong

Political Science & Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy, University of Toronto

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Dr Liam O’Shea

Senior Research Fellow

Organised Crime and Policing

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Alanna Putze

Senior Corporate Partnership Manager

Business Development

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Suzanne Raine

RUSI Trustee

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Matthew Redhead

Senior Associate Fellow; Financial crime consultant and researcher

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Kinga Redlowska

Head of CFCS Europe

Centre for Financial Crime and Security Studies

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Stephen Reimer

Associate Fellow

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Melanie Smith, Head of Research, Institute for Strategic Dialogue US

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Tim Symington

Visiting Senior Research Fellow, Kings College London

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Louise Taggart

PwC Cyber Threat Intelligence, Senior Manager

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Gavin Wilde

GP-RCB Work Stream co-lead for North America

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Ollie Whitehouse

Founder, BinaryFirefly

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* This is not an all-inclusive list of taskforce members

Related projects and programmes

Taskforce on a Transatlantic Response to Illicit Finance

TARIF aims to strengthen global democracy by identifying viable ways in which the UK and US can combine efforts in tackling illicit finance.

European Sanctions and Illicit Finance Monitoring and Analysis Network (Euro SIFMANet)

Euro SIFMANet brings together European research institutions to raise awareness and inform policymaking against the illicit financial flows that continue to undermine our democracies.

Cyber Threats Programme

Analysing the types of cyber threats facing societies and identifying how to mitigate them.

Organised Crime and Corruption Programme

Our work on organised crime and corruption explores the dynamics of illicit markets and the drivers and enablers that sustain them in order to inform effective policy responses.

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