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

August News: Considerations for successful negotiations with Afghan Taliban; UMD researchers win $1.5M Minerva Grant; Recidivism among US extremists


New report explores steps required to succeed in negotiations with the Afghan Taliban
A new report from START researchers suggests that the Taliban is in a stronger position on the battlefield given its continued ability to contest, take and hold Afghan territory through force of arms, but that the Taliban is also aware that total victory by force of arms is unrealistic. The report provides an analysis of when and under what conditions the Taliban might be willing to come to the negotiating table with the serious intention of reaching a peace agreement with the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan (GoIRA). Read more.

UMD researchers win $1.5M Minerva Grant to understand social media information campaigns
START researchers Egle Murauskaite and Devin Ellis are part of a cross-cutting team of University of Maryland researchers who have been awarded $1.5 million from the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) to study the spread of information campaigns by examining how emotion affects whether someone will re-share content online. Read more.

ICYMI: New data shows risk of recidivism is high among extremists, highlights barriers and enablers
Before ultimately disengaging from violent extremism, desisting from crime or deradicalizing, nearly half of a sample of U.S. extremists committed multiple ideologically motivated criminal offenses, suggesting that the risk of recidivism among extremists is high but not inevitable. In a first-of-its-kind effort, START researchers collected information on 300 U.S. extremists who distanced themselves from violent extremism after their participation in ideologically motivated illegal activities. The study highlights the barriers to exiting violent extremism, as well as those factors that helped individuals exit extremist groups. The new dataset, Profiles of Individual Radicalization in the United States-Desistance, Disengagement, and Deradicalization (PIRUS-D3), will be released later this year. Read more.


UWT Junior Researchers (8/30): START Unconventional Weapons and Technology Division
Postdoctoral Research Associate (8/31): START Unconventional Weapons and Technology Division
Research Associate in Systems Engineering (8/31): The University of Maryland Applied Research Laboratory for Intelligence and Security (ARLIS)
Graphic Designer (9/9): (Part-time) START Communications Team
Migration/Immigration Research Assistant (9/20): (Part-time) START Political Instability Team


Online Terrorist Propaganda, Recruitment, and Radicalization
This book explores the rapidly growing phenomenon of how terrorists’ online presence is utilized for terrorism funding, communication, and recruitment purposes, with chapters by several START affiliates, including:

  • “Instruments and Arrangements against Online Terrorism Relating to International Cooperation,” by Ali Dizboni and Christian Leuprecht
  • “Legislation Specifically Targeting the Use of the Internet to Recruit Terrorists,” by Thomas J. Holt, Joshua Freilich, and Steven M. Chermak
  • “An Information, Motivation, and Behavioral Skills Perspective on Terrorist Propaganda,” by Rebecca A. Wilson and Anthony F. Lemieux
  • “Domestic Terrorism and Digital Media: Planning in Cyberspace,” by David Woodring, Kevin M. Fitzpatrick, Jeff Gruenewald, and Brent Smith
  • “Legal Restrictions and Challenges for Police and Law Enforcement Authorities,” by Omi Hodwitz

Assessing Hospital System Resilience to Disaster Events Involving Physical Damage and Demand Surge
Socio-Economic Planning Services
Shahverdi, Bahar, and Mersedeh Tariverdi, Elise Miller-Hooks
Terrorist Group Rivalries and Alliances: Testing Competing Explanations
Studies in Conflict & Terrorism
Phillips, Brian J.
How Publics’ Active and Passive Communicative Behaviors Affect their Tornado Responses: An Integration of STOPS and SMCC
Public Relations Review
Liu, Brooke Fisher, and Sifan Xu, JungKyu Rhys Lim, Michael Egnoto
Reaching Vulnerable Populations in the Disaster-Prone US Gulf Coast: Communicating Across the Crisis Lifecycle
Journal of Emergency Management 
Petrun Sayers, Elizabeth L., and Andrew M. Parker, Rajeev Ramchand, Melissa L. Finucane, Vanessa Parks, Rachana Seelam
Return on Investment Analysis and its Applicability to Community Disaster Preparedness Activities: Calculating Costs and Returns
International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction
Kousky, Carolyn, Liesel Ritchie, Kathleen Tierney, and Brett Lingle


START researchers attend the DHS COE Summit 2019
Several START researchers, staff and students participated in the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Centers of Excellence (COE) Summit earlier this month. Researchers and staff hosted a booth and provided lectures on gray zone threats, while students attended an education roundtable. Read more.

Vera Mironova seeks out conflict for research opportunities
In her new book, “From Freedom Fighters to Jihadists: Human Resources of Non State Armed Groups,” START Terrorism Research Awardee Vera Mironova details her experiences being embedded with Iraqi Special Forces and interviewing members of the Islamic State. She will be at START Oct. 15 to offer a book talk. Read more.
Congressman Anthony Brown visits START
Congressman Anthony Brown visited START in August to speak with students and researchers about how the center supports both the mission of the Department of Defense and educational opportunities for the next generation of national security practitioners. 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 at gtd@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.edu from individuals and organizations regarding the value of the GTD to ongoing analytical efforts.


Career Talk: Starbucks Senior Risk Intelligence Analyst Tyler Duke
1:00 p.m. September 23, at START headquarters
Starbucks Senior Risk Intelligence Analyst Tyler Duke will give a talk on his career on the Risk Intelligence team under Starbucks’s Global Security and Resilience organization.
Register to attend.
Book Talk: “From Freedom Fighters to Jihadists”
12:00 p.m. October 15, at START headquarters
Harvard University Visiting Fellow Vera Mironova will give a talk on her new book, “From Freedom Fighters to Jihadists: Human Resources of Non State Armed Groups.” In it, Mironova draws on her experiences being embedded with Iraqi Special Forces, and interviewing members of the Islamic State. Mironova uses labor market theory to explore why extremist Islamist groups were able to recruit and retain fighters.
Register to attend.
Lecture: A Tale of Two Caliphates
1:00 p.m. October 29, at START headquarters
In this lecture, START Director William Braniff will compare and contrast al-Qaida and its global movement with the Islamic State and its global movement, examining the implications of this global competition.
Register to attend.


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New York Times: White extremist ideology drives many deadly shootings
This article on white extremist ideology and mass shootings uses data from the Global Terrorism Database (GTD).
Wall Street Journal: Isolation and social media combine to radicalize violent offenders
START researchers Michael Jensen and Arie Kruglanski are quoted in this article about the radicalization of violent offenders.
NPR: Can you be addicted to hate? White supremacy researchers say 'yes'
START affiliate Peter Simi was interviewed for this radio spot on white supremacy.
NPR: In aftermath of El Paso shooting, police investigate potential manifesto
START Director William Braniff is quoted in this radio spot about the El Paso shooting.
The Washington Post: Who's a terrorist and who's mentally ill? We looked at 10 years of news coverage to find out.
START affiliate Anthony Lemieux and former START Terrorism Research Awardee Erin Kearns wrote this opinion piece about how the media covers perpetrators of terrorists attacks.
Business Insider: What the science of extremism can teach you about success and self-worth 
START researcher Arie Kruglanski is quoted in this article about the psychology of extremism.
Associated Press: Death penalty questionable as a deterrent to mass killing
START Founding Director Gary LaFree is quoted in this article about mass shootings and capital punishment.
WOSU: Domestic terrorism and America
START researcher Erin Miller spoke on a panel for this public radio program on the topic of domestic terrorism and America.
WTOP: The Hunt: Imprisoned extremists likely to return after release
START researcher Patrick James was interviewed for this radio spot on recidivism among extremists.
Fox News: After El Paso shooting, experts say more resources needed to fight domestic terror
START researcher Barnett Koven is quoted in this article about countering domestic terrorism.
ABC WOI-TV: Iowan led team that uncovered El Paso shooting manifesto
START researcher Elizabeth Yates was interviewed for this article about the El Paso shooting and terrorism in the United States.
KCBS: What does a domestic terrorism investigation entail
START Director William Braniff was interviewed for this radio piece on the Gilroy Garlic Festival shooting.

The Globe and Mail: If Jahadi Jack comes home, Canada has only itself to blame
START affiliate Christian Leuprecht co-wrote this opinion piece on returning foreign fighters.

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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