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

April News: New education/training leadership at START; Understanding New Zealand manifesto and Poway open letter; We’re hiring

Guarrieri, Boyd and Koven tapped to lead education and training efforts
This month, a new team took the helm of the center’s undergraduate education, graduate education and professional training programs. START has named Dr. Thomas Guarrieri the director of undergraduate programs; Dr. Marcus Boyd the director of graduate studies; and Dr. Barnett Koven the director of training. Liberty Day, assistant director of education and training, will continue to serve as the centerpiece of START’s education and training efforts, providing guidance and program management for the education and training team. Read more.

ICYMI: New CBRN Incident database includes more than 500 events coded for more than 140 variables

Last month, START researchers Markus Binder and Gary Ackerman published a new database, the Profiles of Incidents involving CBRN and Non-State Actors (POICN) database, consisting of 517 CBRN terrorism–related events from 1990 to 2017. Each event record collects more than 140 geospatial, temporal, motivational, operational, tactical and consequence variables, including multiple metrics for variable, source and incident uncertainty. To learn more, read this article in Studies in Conflict and Terrorism. To gain access to the database, email the project team at poicn@umd.edu.

Postdoctoral Research Associate: START’s Unconventional Weapons and Technology Division is seeking a postdoctoral research associate who is well-versed in decision science/operations. The position is open with respect to academic disciplines within social sciences; mathematics; operations or systems engineering; or theoretical computer science; however, the candidate must have an understanding and research interests in the counter weapons of mass destruction and improvised threat network (CWMDITN) issue area(s). Apply by May 31.

Assistant Research Scientist: START’s Geospatial Research Unit is seeking an assistant research scientist with demonstrated expertise in spatial sciences or allied fields (information/data science, computer science, engineering, etc.). Those in traditional social science fields (sociology, political science, etc. will be considered if they can demonstrate expertise in spatial sciences). Apply by May 31.


The New Zealand Terrorist’s Manifesto: A look at some of the key narratives, beliefs and tropes

In this editorial piece, START research affiliate Alejandro Beutel dissects the New Zealand terrorist manifesto and the Poway open letter to identify the concepts, narratives and tropes used that show the growing transnational threat of far-right extremism. Read more.

On the Horizon: Security Challenges at the Nexus of State and Non-State Actors and Emerging/Disruptive Technologies
SMA White Paper that addresses the unpredictability of the trajectories that innovation and new technologies present to national security with articles by START researchers, including:
  • “Malevolent Innovation: Novelty and Effectiveness in Terror Attacks,” by Gina Ligon and Michael Logan
  • “Modelling Terrorist Technology Transfer,” by Rebecca Earnhardt and Gary Ackerman
  • “Hacking the Human Body: The Cyber-Bio Convergence,” by Rebecca Earnhardt 

Towards a Definition of Terrorist Ideology
Terrorism and Political Violence
Ackerman, Gary A., and Michael Burnham
Religion and Political Mobilization
The Palgrave Handbook of Ethnicity
Birnir, Johanna K., and Henry D. Overos
The Situated Contexts of American Terrorism: A Conjunctive Analysis of Case Configurations
Criminal Justice and Behavior
Gruenewald, Jeff, and Grant Drawve, Brent L. Smith
How terrorist actors in Pakistan use nuclear weapons for political influence
Asian Security
Joshi, Sharad
Prison and Violent Political Extremism in the United States
Journal of Quantitative Criminology
LaFree, Gary, and Bo Jiang, Lauren C. Porter
Crisis Information Seeking and Sharing (CISS): Scale Development for Measuring Publics’ Communicative Behavior in Social-Mediated Public Health Crises
Journal of International Crisis and Risk Communication Research
Lee, Yen-I, and Yan Jin
Paying it Forward: Canada's Renewed Commitment to NATO's Enhanced Forward Presence
International Journal: Canada’s Journal of Global Policy Analysis
Leuprecht, Christian, and Joel Sokolsky, Jayson Derow
Individuals’ Religiosity and Emotional Coping in Response to Disasters
Journal of Contingencies and Crisis Management
Lim, Jungkyu Rhys, and Brooke Fisher Liu, Michael Egnoto, and Holly A. Roberts
Editor’s Essay: The Critical Need for Crisis and Risk Communication Research
Journal of International Crisis and Risk Communication Research
Liu, Brooke F.
Social Learning and Social Control in the Off- and Online Pathways to Hate Crime and Terrorist Violence
Studies in Conflict & Terrorism 
Mills, Colleen E., and Joshua D. Freilich, Steven M. Chermak, Thomas J. Holt, Gary LaFree
Is Viewing Mass Trauma Television Coverage Associated with Trauma Reactions in Adults and Youth? A Meta‐Analytic Review
Journal of Traumatic Stress
Pfefferbaum, Betty, and Pascal Nitiema, Elana Newman
Terrorism Media Effects in Youth Exposed to Chronic Threat and Conflict in Israel
Current Psychiatry Reports
Pfefferbaum, Betty, and Phebe Tucker, Elana Newman, Summer D. Nelson, Pascal Nitiema, Rose L. Pfefferbaum
An Examination of the American Far Right’s Anti-Tax Financial Crimes
Criminal Justice Review
Sullivan, Brandon A., and Joshua D. Freilich, Steven M. Chermak
Research Handbook on Mediating International Crises
Edward Elgar Publishing, Ltd.
Wilkenfeld, Jonathan, and Kyle Beardsley, David Quinn


An art and a science: Artists use data from the Global Terrorism Database (GTD) in works of data visualization art

It’s not often that scholars can point to art galleries as good places to see terrorism data, but data visualization artists are working to change that. Loren Madsen, a California-based artist, used data from the Global Terrorism Database (GTD) for an art installation called Worry Beads, and Emily Lazerwitz, an American artist currently working in London, used GTD data for her work called the Archive, which is comprised of rugs made with depictions of the data. Read more.

State Department IVLP program visits START

Dr. Amy Pate, START's executive director and research director, spoke with a delegation of State Department International Visitor Leadership Program participants from the Near East and North Africa. Read more.

START hosts National Capital Region Threat Intelligence Consortium

The National Capital Region Threat Intelligence Consortium (NTIC) Public Safety Center recently visited START to learn more about its research portfolios and its datasets. Read more.

From Emmy-winner to analyst: a journalist’s shifting career path

Emmy-winning journalist Sam Miller traded in her press pass for a master’s program in security studies and an internship with START’s PIRUS: Understanding Extremist Networks project. Read more.

Wilkenfeld presents talk on mediating international crises

Founding Director of the ICONS Project Jonathan Wilkenfeld presented a lecture on his new book “Research Handbook on Mediating International Crises,” at START Headquarters. Read more.


START continues to seek opportunities to fund the GTD beyond 2019. If your organization uses the GTD and would like to explore options to support data collection or purchase a license for commercial use, please contact us atgtd@start.umd.edu. If you are an individual who would like to support the GTD, you may make a gift directly to START through the University of Maryland College Park Foundation (UMCPF). START also welcomes testimonials sent to gtd@start.umd.edufrom individuals and organizations regarding the value of the GTD to ongoing analytical efforts.

‘The Three Pillars of Radicalization’ book launch
2:00 p.m. June 5 at START Headquarters
Arie Kruglanski, Jocelyn Belanger and Rohan Gunaratna will launch their book, “The Three Pillars of Radicalization: Needs, Narratives, and Networks,” with a talk at START headquarters. UMD Provost Mary Ann Rankin will offer remarks and START Founding Director Gary LaFree will moderate the panel. Juan Zarate, former deputy assistant to the president and deputy national security adviser for combating terrorism, will give a keynote address.
Register to attend.
FEMA-certified Courses

Other Courses


The New York Times: Attacks by white extremists are growing. So are their connections.

This article on far right extremism uses data from the Global Terrorism Database (GTD) and quotes GTD Program Manager Erin Miller.

NPR AirTalk: Are far-right extremist attacks on the rise? Analysts say it depends on where you look

START Director William Braniff is a guest on this radio show, discussing far right extremist attacks.

Wall Street Journal: Are Far-Right Extremist Crimes Rising? No

START researchers Joshua Freilich, Jeff Gruenewald, and Michael Jensen are quoted and the Global Terrorism Database (GTD), the Profiles of Individual Radicalization in the United States (PIRUS) database, and the American Terrorism Study (ATS) database are cited in this article about far right extremism in the United States.

The Economist: Global jihadists turn increasingly against religious targets

This article on attacks on religious targets uses data from the Global Terrorism Database (GTD).

CNN: Are Muslims and Christians at war? The data says no

This article about attacks on religious targets uses data from the Global Terrorism Database (GTD) and quotes GTD Program Manager Erin Miller.

Christian Science Monitor: After the bombings, searching for sense in Sri Lanka

START Founding Director Gary LaFree is quoted in this article about the Sri Lanka attacks.

Small Wars Journal: President Erdogan is a Threat to U.S. and NATO Security

START researcher Max Erdemandi wrote this article about the relationship between the US, Turkey and NATO.

Small Wars Journal: AvFID: Achieving the Peace in Colombia Through Aviation Foreign Internal Defense

START researcher Barnett Koven wrote this article on the peace process in Colombia.


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


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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