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

START News: Forecasting the flow of foreign fighters; Equipping educators to understand mass violence and extremism


New START model forecasts the flow of foreign fighters
A new model presented by START’s GIS researchers assesses the possible transportation corridors used by foreign fighters when traveling to and from territories controlled by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and demonstrates how potential deterrence activities can impact the flow of people and materials through these areas. Read more.
Mass violence and extremism: Information for educators and school administrators
To better equip educators and school administrators to understand and appropriately respond to observable warning signs of potential mass violence and/or violent extremism in their schools, START and the Anti-Defamation League recently published a new backgrounder that explores the parallels between mass violence and extremism and offers a strategy to decrease the risk of those incidents. Read more.

New data explores foreign fighters from the United States
A new report from START examines data on foreign fighters who have departed for overseas conflicts from more than 100 cities in 25 states across the United States, from 1980 to 2015. The report includes information on 242 individuals who have been publicly identified in open sources as having left, attempted to leave, or expressed an interest in leaving the United States for the purpose of supporting the activities or interests of a foreign non-state armed group or foreign regime, and were motivated by religion, ethnicity, or other ideology. Read More.


Geospatial Analysis of Critical Power Infrastructure Vulnerability in Baghdad
By investigating terrorist attacks within a five kilometer radius of three power plants in Baghdad, Iraq, START researcher William Kammerer says it is possible to develop an empirically grounded assessment of the facilities’ vulnerabilities using Geographic Information Systems (GIS) technology. Read More.


Communicating Crisis Uncertainty: A Review of the Knowledge Gaps
Public Relations Review
Liu, Brooke Fisher and Logen Bartz, Noreen Duke
Democracy, Inclusion and Failure in Counterinsurgency
Oxford University Press
Asal, Victor and Kathleen Deloughery, Steve Sin
Terrorism and Political Violence Special Issue: 100 Years of Irish Republican Violence:

Studies in Conflict & Terrorism Special Issue: Measurement Issues in the Study of Terrorism


Wilkenfeld discusses “International Negotiation in a Complex World”
The need for negotiation – and understanding the key international relations concepts on which negotiations should be based – is becoming more apparent as traditional interstate conflicts shift toward intrastate conflicts and national issues, according to Dr. Jon Wilkenfeld, director of START’s ICONS Project. Dr. Wilkenfeld gave a talk this month at START on the latest iteration of his book “International Negotiation in a Complex World”. Read more.
GIS intern’s passion for public service: her journey from the White House to START
Katherine Swanson, a University of Maryland Junior majoring in Government and Politics and minoring in Global Terrorism, is no stranger to public service. She served the President of the United States as a White House intern before joining the START team as a GIS intern. Read more.
Mohamed Nimer on the Americanization and Evolution of Islamism
This month, Dr. Mohamed Nimer gave a talk at START on “The Americanization and Evolution of Islam”. Dr. Nimer is an assistant professor of International Relations and teaches the Washington Semester Islam and World Affairs Program. Read more.
Stranger in his own homeland: one ICONS intern reflects on lessons from Nigeria
Chineme Obiefune is used to living outside of his comfort zone. Originally from a small town in Maryland, he left the United States to spend his middle school years attending a boarding school in Nigeria. His interest in international relations led him to pursue an internship with START and the ICONS project. Read more.
Police commander presents lessons learned from the Aurora Theater shooting
Aurora, Colorado police commander James Puscian visited START this month to discuss the role of the first responder team, as well as major accomplishments and lessons learned, during the July 20, 2012 mass shooting at a movie theater in that town. Read more.
UMD’s Undergraduate Research Day features START FIRE students
More than 20 students from UMD’s First-year Innovation and Research Experience (FIRE) Risk Communication and Resilience stream, led by START researchers Dr. Brooke Liu and Dr. Michael Egnoto, presented research on risk communication and resilience at this month’s Undergraduate Research Day. Read more.


Now Hiring: Senior Researcher to work in conjunction with the DoD Strategic Multilayer Assessment office. Apply Now.
START’s Graduate Certificate in Terrorism Analysis. Open to academicians and practitioners, and can be completed in as few as nine months. Apply by July 1.
The Terror-Crime Nexus & Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear (CBRN) Threats online course. Learn more or Register now.
Free online short series of video lectures on “Core Capabilities and Potential Durability of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).” View now.


Obsidian, A Cadmus Company: Analyst, Homeland Security Preparedness Assessments Apply Now.
Request for Proposals (RFP) for Borders, Trade and Immigration Research Submit by May 25, 2016.
Call for Papers: Journal of Criminological Research, Policy and Practice on terrorism, political violence and asymmetric conflict Submit by July 20, 2016.
Call for Papers: Journal of Contemporary Criminal Justice Submit by Sept. 1, 2016.
Call for Papers: Journal of International Relations Research (JIRR) Submit by Oct. 1, 2016.
DHS S&T ‘National Conversation on Homeland Security and Technology’ Dialogue Series Participate Now.


GIS Intern Utilizes START Knowledge in the Army ROTC, by Charles Derrick
Preparing to Present Professionally: One START Intern’s Findings, by Marina Farrugia
Risk Communications and Resilience Intern Investigates Hospital Communication, by Brenna Means


War on the Rocks: Not secure enough: The threat of terrorists acquiring nuclear material is still serious
Gary Ackerman and James Halverson authored this op-ed warning of the vulnerabilities that remain for nuclear power plants and other facilities. Read more.
NPR: If we could #BringBackOurGirls, they might not be welcomed with open arms
Amy Pate was quoted in this blog post from NPR about the complexities of bringing Boko Haram abduction victims back into society. Read more.
CNN: Who are the Abu Sayyaf?
Data from the Global Terrorism Database was mentioned in this article about terror group Abu Sayyaf. Read more.
Patheos: Moving Past the Condemnations: Recognizing Muslims’ contributions to our public safety
Alejandro Beutel, Stephanie Choi, Sarala Prabhu and Erika Swanson wrote this blog post about efforts by Muslims to take community-level action against terrorism. Read more.
The Guardian: Catholics main victims of Northern Ireland republican terror groups
John Horgan was quoted in this article about terrorism in Northern Ireland. Read more.

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


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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.