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

Oct. News: Technology transfers to terrorists; US Foreign fighters; Explosive detection technology adoption


Oct. News: Technology transfers to terrorists; US Foreign fighters; Explosive detection technology adoption

October 18, 2017
FEATURED RESEARCH

 

Motivations, mechanisms and determinants of successful technology transfers to terrorists
A START research team recently developed a new model to explain the processes by which terrorist and other violent non-state actors become aware of, pursue and ultimately acquire new technologies. Detailed in a new research brief, the model defines three primary actor roles and identifies four primary stages of the transfer. Read more.
 
A closer look at U.S. foreign fighters
Since the ascent of ISIL, foreign fighter travel from the United States has been more dispersed across the country than it previously was: Individuals from at least 21 U.S. states have sought to join ISIL in Iraq and Syria since 2013. This analysis – as well as data on foreign fighter radicalization, travel facilitators, plot outcomes and terrorist group support – is published in an updated infographic series exploring data on the 288 foreign fighters in START’s Profiles of Radicalization in the United States database. Read more.
 
Study identifies predictors of intention to engage with explosive detectors
To help practitioners identify ways of empowering the public to use emerging technology that can detect explosives and fight terrorism, a team of START researchers conducted a survey and identified motivators for and barriers against using this new technology. Read more.
 


DISCUSSION POINT
Can taking down websites really stop terrorists and hate groups?
An editorial piece by Thomas Holt, Joshua D. Freilich and Steven Chermak discusses potential implications of shutting down online platforms for hate speech and advocates for a measured and coordinated approach to the removal of extremist and terrorist content online. Read more.
 

PUBLICATIONS
Partner Selection in Disaster Relief: Partnership Formation in the Presence of Incompatible Agencies
International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction
Coles, John B., and Jing Zhang, Jun Zhuang
 
Electing Peace: From Civil Conflict to Political Participation
Cambridge University Press
Matanock, Aila M.
 
Climate Change and Cross-State Islamist Terrorism in Nigeria
Peace Economics, Peace Science and Public Policy
Price, Gregory N., and Juliet U. Elu
 
An Evaluation of Displacement and Diffusion Effects on Eco-Terrorist Activities After Police Interventions
Journal of Quantitative Criminology
Yang, Sue Ming, and I-Chin Jen
 

START NEWS
 
START experts to headline conference on domestic terrorism and mass casualty incidents
START experts, alongside federal, state and local authorities, will speak about the changing state of terrorism during an Insight Exchange Network conference at Georgetown University, Nov. 15-16. The conference, “Best Practices in Preparing for and Responding to Domestic Terrorism & Mass Casualty Incidents” will cover topics such as the steps in preparing for incident response, how to effectively partition state and federal resources, coping with the mental fallout resulting from incidents among other topics. Read more.

Exploring factors in successful vs. unsuccessful terrorist assassinations
Weapon type, fatalities and proximity to target are all major factors in distinguishing successful from unsuccessful terrorist assassinations, according to ​new research by former START Terrorism Research Award (TRA) recipient Marissa Mandala and START researcher Joshua D. Freilich. Read more.
 
Motivated to learn about human motivation
Spurred on by an anti-smoking poster, a 13-year old Irina ​​Iles launched a campaign to convince her mother to quit smoking. Now, a START senior researcher in the Risk Communication and Resilience Program, Iles credits her campaign against smoking as the impetus to a burgeoning research career. Read more.
 
START intern brings international counterterrorism experience back home
In her semester abroad as a Policy Analyst Intern for the Office of the Prime Minister of Kosovo, Katelyn Weeks learned that the research she did before her trip only scratched the surface of the topic of violent extremism: the picture on the ground was much more complex. Upon her arrival to Kosovo, Weeks was assigned to draft a new policy for Countering Violent Extremism (CVE). Read more.

 


EVENTS
 
Best Practices in Preparing for and Responding to Domestic Terrorism & Mass Casualty Incidents” hosted by the Insight Exchange Network, in partnership with START
November 15-16 at the Georgetown University Hotel and Conference Center, Washington, D.C.
 
Information Sessions: Graduate Certificate in Terrorism Analysis
6:00 p.m., November 2, December 7

OPPORTUNITIES
 
**Career Opportunity: Director, Unconventional Weapons and Technology Division**
Within the overall mission of START, UWT integrates a portfolio of research projects seeking to improve the holistic understanding of CBRN and other emerging technology threats emanating from non-state actors and applying these insights to practical measures to reduce these threats. The Division focuses on the social and behavioral elements of terrorism involving unconventional weapons and places strong emphasis on transitioning cutting-edge research to the larger policy and practitioner communities. Best Consideration: Oct. 20.
 
Spring Internships at START Apply by Nov. 5.
 
Call for Proposals: Causes, Conduct and Consequences of Terrorism book series Submissions accepted on rolling basis.
 

TRAINING
Community-led Action in Response to Violent Extremism (CARVE) online training. Learn more and register here.
 
Using the Global Terrorism Database online training. 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
The New York Times: Terrorizing if not clearly terrorist: What to call the Las Vegas attack?
START Researcher Martha Crenshaw is quoted in this New York Times article about the classification of terrorism following the Las Vegas shooting.
 
USA Today: Las Vegas mass shooting raises new doubts about safety of live entertainment
START Researcher Victor Asal is quoted in this USA Today article about venue safety following the Las Vegas shooting. The story appeared in nearly 50 outlets.
 
PRI: There’s no evidence linking the Las Vegas attack to ISIS. So why did the group claim responsibility?
Erin Miller, the program manager of the Global Terrorism Database, was quoted in this PRI article about the history of ISIS claiming responsibility for attacks. The story appeared in nearly 90 outlets
 
Buzzfeed: This is why ISIS took responsibility for the Las Vegas shooting
START Researcher Herbert Tinsley was quoted in this Buzzfeed article about ISIS claiming responsibility for the Las Vegas shooting.
 
Washington Post: How the erosion of trust leads to murders and mass shootings
START Director Gary LaFree is quoted in this Washington Post article about trust in the government and the public following mass shootings.
 
L.A. Times: Guns play an outsized role in deaths from terror attacks, especially in the US, data show
This L.A. Times article about the danger of firearms in terrorist attacks uses data from the Global Terrorism Database.
This is a selection of news clips from the past month.
A complete list of START’s media coverage can be found 
here.

SUPPORTING START

Help Support START Research and Education
The START Consortium is dedicated to generating knowledge of the human causes and consequences of terrorism. Applying rigorous standards to both research and education, START seeks to illuminate one of the most highly politicized and understudied phenomena in the social sciences for students, practitioners and policy-makers. Funded primarily through research grants to date, START is seeking to generate an endowment that will provide the flexibility and autonomy to ensure that it can continue to serve as an objective source of data and empirically based analysis into the future.  To donate, or for more information, please click here.

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