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

March News: Career opportunities; New research on anti-Muslim terrorism and more


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. Applications are due by Monday, April 18, 2022.


Anti-Muslim Terrorism in the United States
Yates, Elizabeth, Sheehan Kane, and Erin Miller
In the early morning hours of August 5, 2017, an improvised explosive device detonated on the property of the Dar al Farooq Islamic Center in Bloomington, Minnesota. According to one of the perpetrators who claimed responsibility for the attack, the goal was to broadcast a direct message to Muslims in the United States: “You’re not welcome here, get the f*** out.”  This incident was one of dozens of violent terrorist attacks intended to intimidate Muslims in the United States in recent years. Using auxiliary data from the Global Terrorism Database (GTD), we identify critical data points and trends in anti-Muslim terrorism in the United States between 2000 and 2019.

Alternative Scales of Extremism: The Relationship Between Scale and Predictive Measures of Extremism in the United States
Boyd, Marcus and Samuel Henkin
This report investigates spatial patterns of terrorism and targeted violence in the United States. Such investigations are rare because terrorist attacks are rare in the United States compared to other nations and the terrorist attacks that do occur are generally correlated with population centers. In sum, the relative rarity of attacks, the geographic size of the United States, and the distribution of population density create inherent challenges historically. However, the recent outbreak of political violence throughout the United States coupled with advances in spatial statistics creates an opportunity to investigate emerging patterns at subnational scales.

Monitor and Mitigate the Impact of COVID-19 on Public Safety
The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has imposed costs on the country’s police, fire, and emergency medical services. These first responders risk exposure in their jobs, yet must maintain operations in order to ensure the safety of the communities they serve. START has produced several new research briefs to shed light on the issue, on topics including communication challenges, morale and mental health, preparedness and vaccination information and uptake.


Thank you to donors who supported START research on Giving Day 2022
START would like to thank the 20+ donors who helped to raise more than $2,000 for START on the University of Maryland (UMD)’s March 9 Giving Day, the annual 24-hour fundraising event in which all members of the UMD community join together to raise critical funding for the university.

Researcher Spotlight: Elizabeth Radziszewski
Dr. Elizabeth Radziszewski is an Associate Research Scientist at START where she co-leads the Global Responses to Asymmetric Threats project. Her research focuses on irregular warfare, international rivalries, foreign policy, and creativity/innovation.

START researcher appears in documentary on disinformation
START Senior Researcher Dr. Michael Jensen has lent his expertise as the START Radicalization and Disengagement (RaD) team lead for a documentary on disinformation.


START Internships
START offers paid internships year round on a variety of research projects and teams. During the course of their internship, participants are exposed to the most up-to-date theories, methods and information related to the study of terrorism. They are versed in the critical questions tackled by homeland security practitioners, policy makers and researchers, and are mentored in a professional environment geared toward student success. The program is designed to prepare the next generation of homeland security scholars and practitioners through real-world research experience. Apply by April 3, 2022 for Summer 2022.

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. 


Private Militaries and the Security Industry in Civil Wars: Competition and Market Accountability
12 p.m. ET April 7, Online
START Associate Research Scientist Elizabeth Radziszewski will provide a virtual talk on her book, Private Militaries and the Security Industry in Civil Wars: Competition and Market Accountability. This talk will explore conditions under which private military and security companies could be effectively utilized by governments to help terminate irregular conflicts.

Virtual Information Session: MPS in Security and Terrorism Studies & Graduate Certificate in Terrorism Analysis (4/18)
6 p.m. ET April 18, 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.

Virtual Information Session: Global Terrorism Studies Minor Program (04/21/22)
6 p.m. ET April 21, Online
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. This will be a virtual information session on Zoom.

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.


USA Today: What is extremism? Does it include far-left? Far-right? Choosing a definition is fraught.
START Director William Braniff is quoted in this article about the definition of extremism.

The Conversation: Putin is on a quest for historical significance by invading Ukraine and gambling on his own and Russia’s glory
START affiliate Arie Kruglanski wrote this opinion piece about Russia invading Ukraine.

Orlando Sentinel: Hate groups decline as extremist ideas go mainstream, researchers say
START researcher Elizabeth Yates is quoted in this article about hate groups.

DW: Joining the war: Foreign nationals flock to Ukraine
START researcher Egle Murauskaite is quoted in this article about foreign fighters in Ukraine.

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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