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

START launches online course on terror-crime nexus and CBRN

This month, START launched its newest online course, The Terror-Crime Nexus & Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear (CBRN) Threats. 

The course is designed to give participants an understanding of the ongoing debate -- and the implications of the different viewpoints -- about the terror-crime nexus, especially about the extent to which it may extend to CBRN threats. The course offers an introduction to the conflicting positions about the nature and scale of the collaboration between these different types of actors.

The online training is self-paced and meant to allow users to:

• define and discuss the nature, scope and scale of the crime-terror nexus threat;
• explain how this threat translates to CBRN risks;
• recognize the indicators of change in the nature and scope of the threat;
• understand the propensity for collaboration among terrorist and criminal entities; and
• identify the domains and regions at risk of such collaborative activities

Liberty Day, training manager at START, is hopeful that the course will serve as a launching pad for expanded training opportunities.

“The training team is excited to be releasing the first of a number of online courses that we plan to make available in 2016,” Day said. “This is a pivotal year for the START training program as we continue to grow our ability to provide online practitioner-focused training opportunities designed to enhance the empirical basis for understanding terrorism, counterterrorism and community resilience.”

John Sawyer, START's commercialization director, serves as one of the course instructors.

"This is a one-of-a-kind course that brings together five years’ worth of cutting-edge research in START’s Unconventional Weapons and Technology Division," said Sawyer. "Understanding the potential linkages between criminal and terrorist non-state actors has been a major part of our research and is a critical component to evaluating the threat of WMD terrorism. It was a pleasure to work with my START colleagues to share these research-based insights."

Late last year, START’s training program produced an online short series of video lectures on “Core Capabilities and Potential Durability of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).” That training is freely available online and open to anyone.

The Terror-Crime Nexus course is delivered via ELMS, the University of Maryland’s e-learning management system, and is open to all interested candidates. It is designed to serve, in particular, practitioners, analysts and policymakers in the law enforcement and intelligence communities.

Upon completion, 0.5 Continuing Education Units (CEU’s) from the University of Maryland are available. Registration is now open. For more information and to sign-up, click here.