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

January News: Faculty Profile; Director’s New Role; International CVE Symposium


January News: Faculty Profile; Director’s New Role; International CVE Symposium

January 29, 2021

NEWS

Taken to extremes: Faculty Q&A with Michael Jensen
It’s been more than 50 years since a seminal essay in Harper’s Magazine described the “paranoid style” in American politics, but the 2020 election—from baseless allegations of electoral fraud to QAnon’s theory of a liberal cabal engaging in child abuse and cannibalism—made it feel very relevant.

Braniff takes on role with Hedayah International Advisory Board
This month, START Director William Braniff accepted an invitation to become a member of the International Advisory Board (IAB) for Hedayah, The International Center of Excellence for Countering Violent Extremism.

START researchers co-lead International Symposium on Preventing/Countering Violent Extremism
From Jan. 12 through Jan. 27, START Executive Director Amy Pate and Training Director Barnett Koven virtually co-lead the International Countering Violent Extremism (ICVE) Symposium in Malaysia and Southeast Asia, along with the International Institute of Islamic Thought and Civilisation (ISTAC) at the International Islamic University of Malaysia (IIUM).

FEATURED PUBLICATION

Divergent Dimensions of Radicalization Risk: Migration and Violent Extremism in Sabah, Malaysia
Desk Study Report to the Bureau of Conflict and Stabilization Operations, U.S. State Department
Henkin, Samuel D., Hafiza Nur Adeen Nor Ahmad, Ramli Dollah, Wan Shawaluddin Wan Hassan, Jagroop Singh, and Ahmad el-Muhammady

This desk study is the product of a collaborative effort undertaken by researchers at the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism (START) at the University of Maryland, the International Islamic University of Malaysia (IIUM) and the Universiti of Malaysia Sabah (UMS). It endeavors to provide an account of local dynamics of violent extremism in the Sulu basin and vulnerabilities exploited by regional violent extremist organizations (VEOs) that make the region a hotbed of terrorist recruitment and training. 

EVENTS

How Did 9/11 Affect Terrorism Research? A Look at Disciplines and Gender
10 a.m. ET February 3, Online
University of Essex Senior Lecturer Dr. Brian J. Phillips will provide a virtual talk on “How Did 9/11 Affect Terrorism Research? A Look at Disciplines and Gender.” In this talk, Phillips will examine why the proportion of female scholars increased substantially after 9/11, outpacing the rise in academia generally.
 
BENS Webinar: Virtual Discussion with START Director William Braniff
11 a.m. ET February 10, Online
Join the Business Executives for National Security (BENS) for a first-ever joint regional conversation with START Director William Braniff, examining the national terrorism threat landscape as it relates to the private sector. This is not a START event.
 
Virtual Information Session: Global Terrorism Studies Minor Program (02/16/21)
6 p.m. ET February 16, Online
This information session will be led by START’s Director of Undergraduate Studies, Dr. Thomas Guarrieri and START's Experiential Education Specialist, Eva Coll, who will discuss how the Global Terrorism Studies Minor Program currently works, what students have to gain from their experience in the program, application requirements and any other questions attendees may have.
 
Swarms of Mass Destruction: Are Drone Swarms Weapons of Mass Destruction?
11 a.m. ET February 19, Online
WMD Warfare and Drone Swarms Analyst Zachary Kallenborn will provide a virtual talk on “Swarms of Mass Destruction: Are Drone Swarms Weapons of Mass Destruction?” This lecture will explore how armed, fully autonomous drone swarms can bypass any arbitrary threshold for "mass destruction," and the limits of autonomous decision-making coupled with the complexity of swarms means the weapons cannot effectively discriminate between civilian and military targets.
 
A Tale of Two Caliphates
11 a.m. ET March 8, Online
START Director William Braniff will give a virtual lecture titled "A Tale of Two Caliphates,” comparing and contrasting al-Qa’ida’s global jihadist agenda with that of the Islamic State, considering the implications of the competition between the two, and offering a grand-strategic response to the enduring threat posed by both.
 
Tracking Emerging Threats and Risk Networks in Eurasia
11 a.m. ET March 24, Online
Refinitiv World-Check Senior Research Analyst Liza Layer will provide a virtual talk on “Tracking Emerging Threats and Risk Networks in Eurasia.” This discussion will explore understanding sanctions networks and emerging threats posed by extremists active in Eurasia.

START IN THE NEWS

Los Angeles Times: Far-right extremists want to attack more capitols, but are divided after D.C. riot
START researcher Arie Kruglanski is quoted in this article about far right extremism following the Washington, D.C. riot.
 
NPR: With U.S. in turmoil, experts unsure what kind of extreme right may emerge soon
START researcher Michael Jensen is quoted in this article about the future of far right extremism in the United States.
 
AFP: US struggles to confront far right threat
START Director William Braniff is quoted in this article about confronting far right extremism in the United States.
 
National Geographic: Why do humans embrace rituals? Disease and danger may be at the root of the behaviors.
START affiliate Michele Gelfand is quoted in this article about human behavior.
 
MarketWatch: Makers of explosives push for end to overlapping regulations, while labor union voices concerns
START researcher Markus Binder is quoted in this article about regulating explosives manufacturing.
 
Sinclair Broadcasting Group: Inaugural security heightened as officials seek to avoid a repeat of Capitol attack
START researcher Devin Ellis is quoted in this article about inaugural security following the Washington, D.C. riot.

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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