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

START joins with ICONS to enhance simulation capabilities; Dynamics of counterterrorism campaigns; Understanding Terrorism course

December 2015 / January 2016

START teams up with UMD’s ICONS Project

This month, the University of Maryland’s ICONS Project will join START, bringing with it more than 30 years’ experience in innovative training, education and research through participant driven simulations for educators, the federal government and corporate and nonprofit clients. As START expands its portfolio of training opportunities, it plans to leverage lessons learned in ICONS’s rich 30-year history, from crafting policy planning exercises on national security, to training programs for crisis management and basic research in political science, education, and psychology.Read more.

  • To celebrate the new partnership, we are offering educators in START’s network a 30 percent discount on ICONS catalog simulations used in Spring 2016 courses. Click here to receive the discount code.



Big, Allied and Dangerous (BAAD) database informs new START reports

START researchers recently released two reports using data from the Big, Allied and Dangerous (BAAD) database; one analyzing the relationship between government approaches to counterterrorism and the lethality of insurgent organizations and another examining factors contributing to CBRN pursuit by insurgent organizations.

  • Read more about the Dynamics of Terrorism and Counterterrorism Campaigns.
  • Read more about CBRN Activity and Attacks by Insurgent Organizations.


START and ICONS work helps assess threats and opportunities in Asia-Pacific region

The Strategic Multilayer Assessment (SMA) office worked with a multidisciplinary group of experts, including researchers from START and the ICONS Project, to examine U.S. strategic interests in the Asia-Pacific region over the next two decades. SMA released a white paper titled “Drivers of Conflict and Convergence in the Asia-Pacific Region in the Next 5-25 Years” based on those efforts. Read more.



A Homeland Security Net Assessment Needed Now!

Strategic Studies Quarterly

Dahl, Erik J.

Only the Bad Die Young: The Correlates of Organizational Death for Far-Right Extremist Groups

Studies in Conflict and Terrorism

Suttmoeller, Michael, Steven Chermak and Joshua D. Freilich




New year, new(ly) updated MOOC

This month, START will launch the third iteration of its newly updated Massive Online Open Content (MOOC) course “Understanding Terrorism and the Terrorist Threat” exploring the basics of terrorism studies through lectures, readings and interactive discussions. The course is free and now open for registration. Read more and Register now.


ACJS honors LaFree with Mueller Award

The academy of Criminal Justice Science (ACJS) recently awarded START Director Gary LaFree with the 2016 Gerhard O.W. Mueller Award for outstanding contributions to comparative/international criminal justice. Read more.


Braniff presents for DIA International Intelligence Fellows Program

The Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) recently invited William Braniff, executive director of START, to present for its International Intelligence Fellows Program course this month about “Empirical approaches to terrorism and counterterrorism.” The cohort of international fellows included 23 officials from 17 countries. Read more.


Studying grievances with information science to understand contentious actions

When most people hear terms like “software engineering,” “computational methods” and “big data,” they think programming, algorithms, and computer labs. But for START Researcher Erin McGrath, those words are vehicles that allow a deeper understanding of the world around us, and a way to understand why people fight. Read more.




Simulation discount

To celebrate the START-ICONS partnership, we are offering educators in START’s network a 30 percent discount on ICONS catalog simulations used in Spring 2016 courses. Register here by Feb. 15 to receive the discount code.


Free, online course

START’s free, online course “Understanding Terrorism and the Terrorism Threat,” will run from Jan. 18 – March 27. Register now.


Call for Papers: Journal of Contemporary Criminal Justice Submit by Sept. 1, 2016.


DHS S&T ‘National Conversation on Homeland Security and Technology’ Dialogue Series. Participate Now.




The Atlantic: How to Resolve an Armed Standoff

START Executive Director William Braniff is quoted in this The Atlantic article about the standoff in Oregon and how a low-key approach may work best to avoid escalating the conflict. Read more.


Washington Post: “Copycat” Terror Attacks

START Researcher Erica Chenoweth wrote a piece for the Washington Post’s ‘Monkey Cage’ blog about how the phenomenon of copycat shootings may also be present in terror attacks. Read more.


ABC News WJLA: CNN Poll: More Americans believe terrorists 'are winning the war against the U.S.

START data and the fact sheet on American Deaths in Terrorist Attacks is cited in this story about the results of a recent CNN Poll. The story appeared in multiple outlets across the country. Read more.


NPR: Counterterrorism Experts Face Challenges Recognizing ‘Lone Wolf’ Terrorists

START Researcher John Horgan was interviewed by Audie Cornish for NPR’s All Things Considered about recognizing and preventing lone wolf attacks. Read more.


Security Management: Terrorism and the Planned Parenthood Shooting

START executive director William Braniff is featured in this Security Management podcast about the recent shooting at a Colorado planned parenthood facility. Listen here.

The Atlantic: Why Join ISIS? How Fighters Respond When You Ask Them

START Researcher Arie Kruglanski was quoted in The Atlantic about the difficulty of finding a random sample to survey a group like ISIS for research. Read more.


CBS Radio: The ISIS Threat – Dec. 4

In this On the Go Podcast, START Researcher Michael Jensen discusses the radicalization process and START’s Profiles of Individual Radicalization in the United States (PIRUS) project. A link to the podcast appears in the middle of the page on the Dec. 4 section. Listen here.


This is a selection of news clips from the past month.
A complete list of START’s media coverage can be found 


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.