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

September News: START Director provides expert testimony to Congress on domestic terrorism; ‘From Freedom Fighters to Jihadist’ book talk event Oct. 15

START Director to Senate: Stronger response to domestic terrorism needed
To counter the rise of violent far-right terrorism in the United States, the federal government should strengthen its partnerships with civilian researchers and embrace a public health approach for at-risk individuals, START Director William Braniff told a congressional committee yesterday. He testified to the U.S. Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs about how data can improve government resource allocation and risk mitigation regarding domestic terrorism. Read more and watch now

START testimony features updated data from GTD, ECDB and other datasets
Numerous START researchers contributed to the expert testimony START Director William Braniff gave to Congress yesterday, providing updates to key datasets including the Global Terrorism Database, Extremist Crime Database, Profiles of Radicalization in the United States and the Chemical and Biological Non-State Actor Database. Braniff also debuted START’s new Bias Incidents and Actors Study dataset. Some of the data presented by each include:

  • GTD: Terrorist attacks in the United States by ideology, 1970-2019 (Q1); Deaths from terrorist attacks in the United States by ideology, 1970-2019 (Q1); Terrorism in the United States by ideology, 2000-2018.
  • ECDB: Ideologically motivated fatal incidents and victims by year, 1990-2018; Failed and foiled plots of far-right extremists and international/homegrown violent extremists since 1990; Far-right financial schemes, 1990-2013.
  • PIRUS: Extremists in the United States by ideology, 1970-2018; Target preferences among violent far-right extremists, 2009-2018; Extent of violent plots in the United States, 2008-2018; Duration of radicalization for extremist offenders in the United States; Characteristics of extremist offenders in the United States by ideology, 1948-2018.
  • BIAS: Characteristics of hate crime offenders in the United States, 1990-2018.
  • CABNSAD: Non-state actors use or attempted use of chemical or biological weapons by ideology.

You’re Invited: “From Freedom Fighters to Jihadists” book talk
Join START at noon Oct. 15 as Harvard University Visiting Fellow Vera Mironova offers a talk on her book “From Freedom Fighters to Jihadists: Human Resources of Non State Armed Groups,” the first book in the START-Oxford book series. 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.


The Rise and Endurance of Radical Right Movements
Current Sociology
Caiani, Manuela
A Comprehensive Application of Rational Choice Theory: How Costs Imposed by, and Benefits Derived from, the U.S. Federal Government Affect Incidents Perpetrated by the Radical Eco-Movement
Journal of Quantitative Criminology
Carson, Jennifer Varriale, and Laura Dugan, Sue-Ming Yang
Book review: Spying: Assessing US Domestic Intelligence Since 9/11 By Darren E. Tromblay
Homeland Security Affairs
Dahl, Erik
Divergent Axes of Russian Influence in Colombia and Latin America
The Age of Disruption: How Power Shifts Create More Conflict
Koven, Barnett and Abigail Kamp
Book Review: Talibanistan: Negotiating the Borders Between Terror, Politics, and Religion
Terrorism and Political Violence
Krause, Peter
The Radical's Journey: How German Neo-Nazis Voyaged to the Edge and Back
Oxford University Press
Kruglanski, Arie, and David Webber, Daniel Koehler
The Benefit of Interventions to Reduce Posttraumatic Stress in Youth Exposed to Mass Trauma: A Review and Meta-Analysis
Prehospital and Disaster Medicine
Pfefferbaum, Betty, and Pascal Nitiéma, Elana Newman, Anushka Patel
Top-Down and Bottom-Up Measurement to Enhance Community Resilience to Disasters
American Journal of Public Health
Schoch-Spana, Monica, and Kimberly Gill, Divya Hosangadi, Cathy Slemp, Robert Burhans, Janet Zeis, Eric Carbone, Jonathan Links
Defender–Attacker Games with Asymmetric Player Utilities
Risk Analysis
Zhai, Qingqing, Rui Peng, and Jun Zhuang


START participates in RESOLVE 2019 Global Forum
START Director William Braniff and START Researcher Laura Dugan gave featured presentations at the annual RESOLVE Global Forum, which brought together top scholars, practitioners, and policymakers to reflect on past efforts, explore prevailing myths, and discuss strategies to recalibrate the way forward in addressing violent extremism. Read more.

START researchers provide training on countering foreign terrorist fighters
START Director William Braniff and Training Director Barnett Koven provided a week of training on foreign terrorist fighters to the criminal justice sector of the Government of Kazakhstan and the Government of Uzbekistan through the Diplomatic Security Service Anti-terrorism Assistance program. Read more.
Ecuadorian high school students visit START
START hosted a group of 15 high school students from Ecuador through the New York City-based educational exchange program Mindot, which provides educational experiences for students from all around the globe. Mindot organized a visit to Washington, D.C., for the students who are interested in careers in international affairs. 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.


Virtual Information Session: START Internships
Oct. 9, Oct. 24
Eva Coll, START’s experiential education specialist, will discuss how the internship program currently works, what students or recent graduates have to gain from their experience in the program, application requirements, and the projects offered within the center that interns will be working on.
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.
Lecture: Hezbollah, from the Iranian Revolution to the Syrian War
1:00 p.m. November 12, at START headquarters
Royal Higher Institute for Defence (RHID) research fellow Didier Leroy will address the ideological and structural evolution of Lebanese Hezbollah, since its emergence four decades ago, through the lens of resilience theories. Recalling its Iranian revolutionary roots, it will focus on how the movement has become an ever more deterrent opponent from the Israeli perspective and grown into a strong regional actor - against all odds - through the Syrian war.
Register to attend.
CARR Far Right De-Radicalisation Webinars
What is deradicalisation? And what does it look like for individuals involved in radical right movements? As part of a new EU-STRIVE funded project with Hedayah, CARR will be unpicking these questions along with practitioners, former violent extremists and academic experts in a yearlong webinar series looking at far right deradicalisation good practices. To express your interest in attending one of these webinars, please email CARR's social media address: socialmedia@radicalrightanalysis.com.


Apply for a Spring internship with START
START offers unpaid 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. Apply by Oct. 27 (priority deadline).

**New seats added** Enroll by Oct. 6 to join free, online CVE course
Learn how to develop a community engagement program to counter violent extremism in a six-week, facilitator-led online course. Enroll by Oct. 6 to participate in Designing Effective Community Responses to Radicalization to Violence (DECRRV), a FEMA-certified course made available at no cost to learners thanks to funding through the Department of Homeland Security. Read more


FEMA-certified Courses

Other Courses


The Independent: Can white nationalism be reversed? How experts are trying to deradicalise America's youth
START researcher Arie Kruglanski is quoted in this article about countering far right extremism.
The Christian Science Monitor: When keepers of the peace harbor hate
START affiliate Peter Simi is quoted in this article about racism within domestic law enforcement agencies.
UN CTED Analytical Brief: Responding to terrorist threats against soft targets
The United Nations’ CTED Analytical Brief on responding to terrorist threats against soft targets uses data from the Global Terrorism Database (GTD).
The Conversation: At these colleges, students begin serious research their first year
This article notes START’s work with First-Year Innovation and Research Experience (FIRE) students.
Vox: How big was the global climate strike? 4 million people, activists estimate.
START affiliate Erica Chenoweth is quoted in this article about the size of the global climate strikes.
The Conversation: Could climate change fuel the rise of right-wing nationalism?
START affiliate Michele Gelfand co-wrote this article about far right extremism and climate change.

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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