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

START News: Lone-actor terrorism; Trade diversion and terrorism financing; Psychology of joining the Islamic State


Patterns of lone-actor terrorism in the United States
Lone-actor terrorists are relatively few in number but are proportionately responsible for more incidents in the United States than group-based terrorists, according to a new research brief from START. The new brief explores how lone actors exhibit different characteristics and behavioral tendencies than their group-based counterparts.  Read more.
In the wake of the recent lone-actor attacks in Canada and the United States, START has compiled the additional, previously published briefs and presentations from projects exploring lone-actor violence.

Financing terrorism through trade diversion
A new START research brief examines trade diversion as a tool for financing terrorism using the Islamist extremist network “The Hammoud Enterprise” as a case study. Researchers examined how the group diverted goods from a low-price to a high-price market to net profits of up to $500,000 per week and funnel money to Hezbollah. Read more.


The importance of conducting field research
In this editorial piece, START researchers Michelle Jacome and Amy Pate argue that despite its challenges, field research is necessary to inform unanswered questions about how to counter and prevent terrorist attacks. Read more.

Ottawa shooter fits the disordered/disconnected profile of lone-actor violence
In this editorial piece posted on Psychology Today, START researcher Clark McCauley discusses how the Ottawa Parliament Shooter Michael Zehaf-Bibeau fits into a larger profile of lone-actor violence. Read more.

Why Do Some Organizations Kill While Others Do Not: An Examination of Middle Eastern Organizations 
Foreign Policy Analysis
Asal, Victor, and Amy Pate, Marcus Schulzke
Nuclear Weapons and Existential Threats: Insights from a Comparative Analysis of Nuclear-Armed States 
Comparative Strategy
Asal, Victor, and Bryan R. Early
Making Ends Meet: Combining Organizational Data in Contentious Politics 
Journal of Peace Research
Asal, Victor, and Ken Cousins, Kristian Skrede Gleditsch

Kruglanski discusses psychology behind terrorist recruitment
In two recent articles, START’s Arie Kruglanski explains that joining the Islamic State is about ‘sex and aggression,’ not religion. He expands on those themes in this follow-up interview. Read more.
START students pioneer UMD CERT program
START students Rebecca Alberda, Travis Moxley and Emily Morris have united to develop Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) certification training courses at the University of Maryland, projected to be available in the Spring 2015 semester. Read more.
START’s Steve Sin chairs CBRNe Asia conference
START Senior Researcher Steve Sin served as chairman for the third edition of Asia’s largest regional chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and explosives (CBRNe) defense conference, which took place in Phnom Penh, Cambodia this month. Read more.
Marielle Roth: The next Kim Possible
As an undergrad at Goucher College, Marielle Roth gained top secret security clearance as one of only 13 students a year chosen to participate in the National Security Scholars Program. At START, she interns through the START/State Department program, and in her spare time, studies Israeli Krav Maga. Read more.
START interns get fit
A group of START interns recently banded together to start a fitness group as a way to train for a Tough Mudder competition. Read more.
START Intern wins first MMA fight
The battle to earn a degree or internship can be an intense experience for many college students, but that competition pales in comparison to the mental and physical battles START Intern Morgan Dailey pursues as a Mixed Martial Arts fighter. Read more.
‘Understanding Terrorism’ with START’s free, online course
Registration is now open for START’s Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) on “Understanding Terrorism and the Terrorist Threat,” which will run Jan. 12-March 9, 2015. The eight-week course, offered through the University of Maryland and Coursera, will explore questions relating to the who, what and how of terrorism studies by introducing students to cutting edge research and the experts investigating these topics. Read more or Register now.


Research Round Table: Field Research in Conflict Zones. 10:30 a.m. Nov. 12 at START Headquarters.
Film Screening and Lecture: “Iraq in Crisis,” hosted by Amnesty International. 6:30 p.m. Nov. 13 on campus.
Lecture: “A Tale of Two Caliphates” by William Braniff. 11:00 a.m. Nov. 14 at START Headquarters.
Global Terrorism Minor Program Information Sessions. Nov. 17 and Dec. 5 on campus.
International Non-Conventional Threat CBRNe USA conference. April 29 – May 1 at University of Maryland.


JOB OPPORTUNITY: Training Manager. Apply by Nov. 1, 2014.
START Spring Internships. Apply by Nov. 7, 2014.
New online winter skills courses in Geospatial and Social Network Analysis for Terrorism. Register now.
Sign up for START’s free online course on understanding terrorism. Register now.
Call for Papers: Studies in Conflict and Terrorism. Due Jan. 15, 2015.
JTSA Call for Papers: The Global Threat, Emerging Issues in National Security. Due Jan. 15, 2015.


Childhood love of the Navy sparks a START intern’s counterterrorism studies by Harrison Lee
Interest in biology and terrorism studies leads to newfound career path for START intern by Kaitlyn Meyers.


Al Jazeera America: Canadian shootings: Terrorism/copy cats
START researcher Anthony Lemieux spoke about the possibility of ‘copy cat’ attacks following the Canadian shootings on Al Jazeera America on October 26. A link to the broadcast is not available.
USA Today: Sovereign Citizens pose threat
A USA Today article cites the START study "Understanding Law Enforcement Intelligence Processes," in discussing perceptions of law enforcement officials and sovereign citizens within the United States. Read more.
Vox: An expert explains how Hong Kong’s protesters could actually win
START researcher Erica Chenoweth comments on the Hong Kong protests in an article for Vox. Read more.
The Los Angeles Times: Somali American fights militant Islamist recruiters in U.S. heartland
In an article for The Los Angeles Times, START researcher Stevan Weine discusses his research on community resilience and countering violent extremism. Read more.
Public Asian: al Qaeda’s new branch in India
START Executive Director William Braniff discusses al Qaeda’s new branch in India as well as the issues surrounding it in an article for Public Asian. Read more.

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


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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. Copyright © 2014 The National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism (START), All rights reserved.