A Department of Homeland Security Emeritus 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

April News: Career opportunities; START director testifies before Congress

 

April News: Career opportunities; START director testifies before Congress

April 25, 2022

JOIN OUR TEAM

Research Software Engineer, Global Terrorism Database (GTD) – This is a full-time Faculty Specialist position, with an initial term of 12 months, starting in June 2022. This position is open until filled.

Communications and Transition Manager – This is a full-time regular exempt staff position, reporting directly to START’s Director. Applications should include a cover letter, current resume, list of references, and work samples, and are due by Monday, May 2, 2022.

NEWS

START Director testifies before House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs
In March, START Director William Braniff testified before the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, raising awareness about the importance of a collaborative, cross-industry approach to keeping Veterans from engaging in acts of violence and extremism on United States’ soil.

START researchers present at International Studies Association (ISA) Annual Convention
Several START researchers presented at the International Studies Association (ISA) 63rd Annual Convention in Nashville, Tenn earlier this month.

Unconventional Weapons and Technology (UWT) researchers present at Midwest Political Science Association Conference
In April, Unconventional Weapons and Technology (UWT) researchers participated in the 79th Midwest Political Science Association Conference in Chicago, Ill.

Researcher Spotlight: Amy Iandiorio
Global Terrorism Database (GTD) Researcher and Targets Classification Domain Manager Amy Iandiorio describes herself as “one of the many New Jersey transplants into the DMV area.”

START PARTNERS

Knowing is Half the Battle: How Education Decreases the Fear of Terrorism
Krause, Peter, Daniel Gustafson, Jordan Theriault, and Liane Young

In this journal article, former START researcher and current Boston College Associate Professor Peter Krause and his co-authors used START's list of affiliated professors, among other sources, to find participants for a project on education about terrorism. Krause writes:

"My co-authors and I surprisingly found that something can significantly decrease individuals’ fear of terrorism, and that is education on the topic by the very professors who are sometimes labeled as part of the 'terrorism industry.' Evidence we gathered from an extensive series of experimental and observational surveys involving students in 31 terrorism and non-terrorism related courses at 12 universities—including massive open online courses (MOOC) and online surveys—reveals that the more individuals learn about terrorism, the smaller they perceive the threat to be to themselves and to the United States.

Even though these 'treatments' were not designed for such an outcome, the two-sided, analytical classroom environment seemed to shift students to a more objective mindset, increased skepticism of hyped media accounts and increased their knowledge about less lethal organizations. Our findings offer hope in countering the most potent tool of terrorism—fear—with important implications for U.S. policies and the mental health of its citizens." 

TRAINING

START has produced a series of short (ten minutes or less), interactive lessons designed to improve learners' knowledge of violent extremism and countering violent extremism (CVE) and terrorism and targeted violence (T2V) in the United States.

Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) Microlearnings

  • Defining Violent Acts: Hate Crimes, Targeted Violence, and Terrorism
  • The Promises and Challenges of Countering Violent Extremism
  • The Spectrum of Countering Violent Extremism

Terrorism and Targeted Violence (T2V) Microlearnings

  • Terrorism in the United States: Tactics and Targets
  • Contemporary Extremist Movements in the United States
  • Contemporary Extremist Movements in the United States: QAnon

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES

Online Summer Courses
START offers fully online summer and winter courses each year which are open to any current degree seeking student or non-degree seeking individual. Current University of Maryland students may register through Testudo. Non-University of Maryland students must apply as non-degree seeking students, visiting students, or students with Golden ID Cardholder Status through the University of Maryland’s Office of Extended Studies. Topics this summer include analyzing terrorism, terrorist financing, human rights and human security and more, and classes will run from May 31 – August 19, 2022.

Master of Professional Studies (MPS) degree in Security and Terrorism Studies
Prospective students can now apply for START’s fully online MPS in Security & Terrorism Studies. The program is appropriate for individuals interested in (and/or currently) working in fields related to intelligence analysis, national security analysis, or analysis of other relevant topic areas, and individuals interested in (and/or currently) conducting scholarly research on terrorism and security. Apply by August 5, 2022 for Fall 2022. 

Global Terrorism Studies Minor Program
START has developed an undergraduate minor in Global Terrorism Studies, a cross-disciplinary program housed in the College of Behavioral and Social Sciences at the University of Maryland. The minor is designed to train the next generation of terrorism analysts, including students who plan to pursue graduate study related to terrorism as well as employment in the federal, state, local, non-profit, and/or private sectors. START accepts applications to the program from University of Maryland undergraduates once per calendar year, during the spring semester. Apply by February 17, 2023 for Fall 2023. 

EVENTS

Developing Impact and Effectiveness Assessment Tool for Influence Operations
1 p.m. ET April 26, Online
Unconventional Weapons and Technology (UWT) Director Steve Sin and UWT researchers Megan Rutter and Rhyner Washburn will provide a virtual talk on the findings from their project on foreign influence operations.

Maryland Day
10 a.m. ET April 30, University of Maryland
The University of Maryland invites you to unlock a world of learning, discovery and exploration at Maryland Day. Take part of hundreds of family-friendly events and interactive exhibits during a daylong celebration and inspiring journey across campus.

International Forum of Terrorism Risk (Re)Insurance Pools (IFTRIP) 2022 Conference
May 10, Online
The 2022 IFTRIP 'ReCODE' Conference will take place as an online LIVESTREAM event on Tuesday, May 10, 2022. This dynamic global annual terrorism reinsurance conference will focus on the Challenges and Opportunities the (re)insurance industry is experiencing, and the Data and Expertise required to strengthen global financial stability. While this is not a START event, START researchers will attend to speak on topics including the impact of climate change on terrorism, cyberterrorism, and bioterrorism.

Virtual Information Session: MPS in Security and Terrorism Studies & Graduate Certificate in Terrorism Analysis (5/24)
6 p.m. ET May 24, Online
START's Master of Professional Studies (MPS) in Security and Terrorism Studies prepares students to examine the complex social, political, economic, and psychological underpinnings of terrorist and security threats, while the Graduate Certificate in Terrorism Analysis provides participants with advanced education on the causes, dynamics and impacts of international and domestic terrorism.

Security Industry Association (SIA) GovSummit
May 24 – May 25, Washington, DC
The Security Industry Association (SIA) will present the GovSummit, the leading government security conference, in Washington, DC on May 24 – May 25, 2022. While this is not a START event, START Director William Braniff will speak on key trends in counterterrorism during the conference.

START IN THE NEWS

House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs: Chairman Takano releases staff report on the recruitment of veterans by domestic violent extremist groups, announces follow up hearing
This report about extremist groups and the recruitment of veterans uses the latest Radicalization and Disengagement (RaD) research on extremism in the U.S. military.

Military Times: Veterans groups, community leaders need to play a key role in countering extremism, experts warn
START Director William Braniff is quoted in this article about countering extremism amongst veterans.

MSNBC: Dozens of veterans participated in the Jan. 6 attack. Congress wants to know why.
START Director William Braniff is quoted in this article about the Congressional hearing on countering extremism amongst veterans where he provided testimony.

Stars and Stripes: Early intervention and better mental health care are keys in preventing veterans from joining extremist groups, advocates say
START Director William Braniff is quoted in this article about the Congressional hearing on countering extremism amongst veterans where he provided testimony.

Salon: Think Capitol rioters were "ordinary people"? New research connects many to far-right groups
In this article, START researcher Michael Jensen goes in depth on the topic of his earlier viral Twitter thread about mapping the extremist affiliations of Capitol riot defendants.

National Institute of Justice: Domestic extremists and social media: Study finds similarities, differences in web habits of those engaged in hate crimes vs. violent extremism
This article on the use of social media among extremists cites data from the Extremist Crime Database (ECDB) and the Profiles of Individual Radicalization in the United States (PIRUS) 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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