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

August News: Career opportunity; START Director supports Maryland Domestic Terrorism Task Force


Communications and Transition Manager – The Communications and Transition Manager is responsible for designing and implementing strategies for communicating about START research, education, and training to a variety of audiences, including federal and other funders and end-users of START products, members of the media, and the public. Applications should include a cover letter, current resume, list of references and work samples, and are due by Friday, September 16, 2022.


START Director invited to speak before meeting of Maryland Domestic Terrorism Task Force
This month, the Maryland Department of Emergency Management (MDEM) and the Governor’s Office of Homeland Security (GOHS) invited START Director William Braniff to participate in a meeting of the Maryland Domestic Terrorism Task Force (DTTF).

UMD-led study shows disparities in violence among extremist groups
New research co-led by University of Maryland Professor Gary LaFree finds that some political extremist groups are more likely to commit violent acts than others—a belief that’s been increasingly questioned with the rise of left-wing extremist groups like Antifa, and right-wing extremist groups like the Proud Boys.

Gary LaFree named UMD Distinguished University Professor
The Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice is pleased to announce that Dr. Gary LaFree has been awarded the title of Distinguished University Professor. This official title is the highest academic honor conferred upon University of Maryland faculty members and is reserved for a small number of exceptional scholars. Professor LaFree joins five other CCJS faculty who have received this award: Lawrence Sherman, John Laub, Terrence Thornberry, Sally Simpson, and Peter Reuter.

Ron Capps' Writing War: A Guide to Telling Your Own Story
International Communication & Negotiation Simulations Project (ICONS) simulation developer and senior researcher Ron Capps wrote Writing War: A Guide to Telling Your Own Story to help veterans and their family members articulate their experiences through writing. For over a decade, Ron's book has been the curriculum for the Veterans Writing Project workshops, founded by Ron in 2011, and has been used in numerous DoD and VA facilities including the National Intrepid Center of Excellence (NICoE).

START Director participates in Global Internet Forum to Counter Terrorism (GIFCT) Global Summit
Last month, START Director William Braniff participated in the Global Internet Forum to Counter Terrorism (GIFCT) Global Summit in the San Francisco Bay Area as a member of their Independent Advisory Committee.


Escalation Management in Gray Zone Crises: The Proxy Factor
Wilkenfeld, Jonathan, Egle E. Murauskaite, David Quinn, Devin Ellis, Allison Astorino-Courtois, and Corinne DeFrancisci

This study addresses the dynamics of how states employ proxies to achieve their strategic goals in the so-called gray zone between normal competition and armed conflict. The basic question is whether the use of proxies by the challenger in a crisis decreases the probability that the defender state will respond with violence. We start by examining a broad set of crises where the initial triggering act is either nonviolent or violent, to assess whether defenders respond to proxy triggers or triggers by the challengers themselves with a greater propensity for violence (hypothesis A). We also consider a narrower set of cases, where the triggering act is violent, asking whether the defender is more likely to respond in a tit-for-tat manner to a proxy, or to a state challenger (hypothesis B). 


Master of Professional Studies (MPS) 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 January 6, 2023 for Spring 2023. 

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. 


AirTalk: More than 20 years have passed since the 'War On Terror,' how has American defense & intelligence changed?
START Director William Braniff is interviewed in this radio spot about American national security over the past 20 years.

Buffalo News: On fringe social media sites, Buffalo mass shooting becomes rallying call for white supremacists
This article about the grocery store shooting in Buffalo cites data from the Global Terrorism Database (GTD).

NPR: Does the killing of al-Zawahiri make Americans safer? It's complicated
This article about the killing of al-Zawahiri cites data from the Global Terrorism Database (GTD).

Fox News: Threat to FBI building the latest example of domestic extremism within US
START Director William Braniff is quoted in this article about a plot to attack an FBI building.

Task & Purpose: Are extremism and violent crime rising among veterans, or are we just seeing more of it?
START researcher Michael Jensen is quoted in this article about extremism among veterans.

National Institute of Justice: Domestic radicalization and deradicalization: Insights from family and friends
This article on a recent study about radicalization and deradicalization uses data from the Profiles of Individual Radicalization in the United States (PIRUS) dataset.

Foreign Policy Research Institute: War crimes in Ukraine: In search of a response
START researcher Egle Murauskaite wrote this article about war crimes in Ukraine.

Washington Post: Courier for Mexican cartel pleads guilty to money laundering
This article about a Mexican cartel courier uses information from START’s project on tracking cartels.

This is a selection of news clips from the past month.

A complete list of START’s media coverage can be found here.


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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