A Department of Homeland Security Center of Excellence led by the University of Maryland

A consortium of researchers dedicated to improving the understanding of the human causes and consequences of terrorism

Far-right and Islamist violence; Jihadist plots; U.S. Muslim reactions to war on terrorism


Far-right and Islamist violence; Jihadist plots; U.S. Muslim reactions to war on terrorism

February 10, 2017

FEATURED RESEARCH

 

Comparing homicides committed by Islamist and far-right extremists
Preliminary 2015-2016 data from the Extremist Crime Database is explored in a new infographic comparing homicides committed by Islamist and far-right extremists in the United States. Read more.

Majority of jihadist plots in the United States have been foiled
A new infographic summarizes interim findings from a START project that identified and examined 109 jihadist-linked plots to use violence against the U.S. homeland between January 1993 and February 2016. The majority of the plots (72%) were completely foiled. Read more.
 
Report examines U.S. Muslim reaction to the war on terrorism
Reviewing the 2007 and 2011 Pew polls of U.S. Muslims, a new START study compares opinions relating to the war on terrorism among six origin groups (Muslims born in Iran, Pakistan, other South Asian countries, Arab countries, and sub-Saharan African countries), as well as African-American Muslims. Though there were slight changes in responses over time, there were some important differences in responses among origin groups. Read more.
 


DISCUSSION POINT

ICYMI: Another Look at Jujitsu Politics
Clark McCauley and Sophia Moskalenko discuss potential consequences of inflammatory rhetoric that uses terrorism as an argument for greater exclusion of Muslims, and why the Islamic State recruitment strategy is so powerful yet so hard to see. This article first appeared in August 2016. Read more.
 


PUBLICATIONS

Countering Terrorism
Brookings
Crenshaw, Martha, and Gary LaFree
 
The Contagious Diffusion of World-Wide Terrorism: Is it Less Common than We Might Think?
Studies in Conflict and Terrorism
LaFree, Gary, and Min Xie, Aila Matanock
 
Values, Political Action, and Change in the Middle East and the Arab Spring
Oxford University Press
Moaddel, Mansoor, and Michele J. Gelfand
 


START NEWS

START students SPARC others to challenge extremism
This month, a team of students from START’s Department of Homeland Security-funded Career Development Program presented their work with the Peer to Peer (P2P): Challenging Extremism initiative, for which they earned Honorable Mention, a distinction reserved for the top ten teams out of 50 participants. Read more.
 
No simple solutions for counterterrorism
In a book talk Feb. 23 at the University of Maryland, Gary LaFree and Martha Crenshaw will explain why there is no simple solution to the threat of terrorism: the foes are multiple and often amorphous, the study of the field dogged by disagreement on basic definitional and methodological issues, and the creation of policy hobbled by an exacting standard – that counterterrorism must succeed all the time, the terrorist only once. Read more.

Braniff contributes to USIP report on global jihadism
Twenty experts from think tanks and universities across the United States, including START Executive Director William Braniff, recently contributed to a report from the United States Institutes of Peace titled “The Jihadi Threat: ISIS, al Qaeda, and Beyond.” Read more.
 
Cohesion amidst the chaos of public opinion
On its face, Amy Adamczyk’s research portfolio may seem disjointed – a variable grab bag of politically charged topics such as abortion, terrorism, homosexuality and drug use. It’s perfectly cohesive though for Adamczyk, who has always been interested in studying “behaviors that are on the edge of being illegal.” Read more.
 
Graduate Certificate bridges master’s and doctoral programs
Like many others, Sarah Muskovitz became interested in terrorism studies in college. But unlike others, it wasn’t a dynamic professor or cool course that piqued her interest; it was where she lived. Her experiences in a large Somali neighborhood in Minneapolis shaped her research interests and led her to enroll in START’s Graduate Certificate in Terrorism Analysis. Read more.

Profiles of Individual Radicalization in the United States (PIRUS) now available
Last month, START released the PIRUS dataset and data visualization tool. PIRUS is a cross-sectional, quantitative dataset of individuals in the United States who radicalized to the point of violent or non-violent ideologically motivated criminal activity, or ideologically motivated association with a foreign or domestic extremist organization from 1948 until 2013. Read more.  
 


EVENTS

 
Book Talk: Gary LaFree and Martha Crenshaw “Countering Terrorism: No Simple Solutions”
Thursday, Feb. 23, Stamp Student Union
 
Terrorism and Extremist Violence in the United States (TEVUS) Portal Demonstration
Tuesday, Feb. 28, Online
 
“Hidden Spaces of Hate: Studying U.S. Far-Right Extremism” talk by Pete Simi for University of Southern California’s SCI and CREATE
Tuesday, March 7, USC Doheny Memorial Library
*not a START sponsored event
 


OPPORTUNITIES

START's global terrorism minor program is open to University of Maryland undergraduates. Apply by Feb. 24.
 
Identify relationships, conduct sophisticated analysis with dynamic TEVUS portal 
Built from four related open-source databases, the TEVUS Portal compiles behavioral, geographic and temporal characteristics of terrorism and extremist violence in the United States dating back to 1970. Through the portal, users are able to build search queries on four data types: events, perpetrators, groups and/or court cases. The dynamic, unique interface allows users to quickly identify relationships between these types of data and conduct sophisticated analysis on terrorist attacks, pre-incident activities and extremist crimes in the United States. Access to the portal is free. Learn more or register to use the portal.
 
Learn how to navigate and analyze world's largest unclassified database on terrorist attacks
With systematic data on more than 150,000 terrorist attacks that have occurred since 1970, the Global Terrorism Database (GTD) has become a critical resource in providing empirical data on terrorism. To help new and seasoned GTD users better understand the analytical power of the database, START has launched a new self-paced, video training series. The first module focuses on the data collection process, instruction on analytical strengths and weaknesses of large datasets and an introduction to pivot tables and foundational graphing. The online training modules are appropriate for security professionals and scholars, and are designed to improve their analytical and critical thinking skills while advancing their competency in Microsoft Excel. Additional training modules – which focus on patterns over time, perpetrators, weapons and tactics and bivariate relationships – will be released over time. Learn more and register here
 
The Terror-Crime Nexus & Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear (CBRN) Threats online course. Register now.
 
Understanding Terrorism and the Terrorist Threat online open course is now on demand. Participate now.
 
Free online short series of video lectures on “Core Capabilities and Potential Durability of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).” View now.

 

START IN THE NEWS

WTOP-FM: Is the West losing the anti-terror messaging battle?
Martha Crenshaw discusses anti-terror messaging in this radio piece for WTOP-FM radio in Washington, D.C. Listen Now.
 
Washington Post: The arbitrary nature of Trump's seven-country ban is clear from a look at the numbers
Data from the Global Terrorism Database is cited throughout this article from the Washington Post. Read more.
 
Inside Higher Ed: The psychology of radicalization
Arie Kruglanski discusses the psychology of radicalization in this podcast by Insider Higher Ed. Listen Now.
 
The Daily Beast: Donald Trump played into al Qaeda's hands
Victor Asal is quoted in this piece from The Daily Beast about the death of Anwar al-Alwaki's children. Read more.
 
Scientific American: Dear anti-Trump protesters, please renounce violence
John Horgan writes this editorial piece about violent anti-Trump protests, which also mentions research by Erica Chenoweth, for Scientific American. Read more.
 

This is a selection of news clips from the past month.
A complete list of START’s media coverage can be found
here.