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

START News: Percursors to violent extremism; Hybrid organizations and RN trafficking; Insider threat in aviation industry


Childhood trauma, history of high-risk behaviors can be precursors to violent extremism
Using life histories of violent white supremacists, START researchers examined how non-ideological factors influenced a person’s entry into an extremist movement. They found that a large portion of those interviewed had similar background experiences, which included childhood trauma, mental health issues and high-risk behaviors. Read more.
Hybrid organizations have greater motivational and operations ability for RN trafficking
With characteristics of both transnational criminal organizations (TCOs) and terrorist organizations, hybrid organizations have demonstrated greater motivation and operational ability to traffic radiological/nuclear material illicitly, according to recent START research. Of the 143 terrorist and 381 TCOs identified for examination, only a handful possess both high motivation and operational capacity to engage in illicit RN material trafficking if given the access and opportunity. Read more.
Background Report: Al-Shabaab Attack on Garissa University in Kenya
Earlier this month, START released this background report after the April 2 attack by al-Shabaab on Garissa University in Kenya. The report details attacks attributed to al-Shabaab, attacks on educational institutions, and mass-casualty attacks. Read more.​



Insider Threat in the Aviation Industry
In this editorial piece, Dr. Cory Davenport and Herbert Tinsley examine how the murder-suicide of 150 passengers and crew aboard Germanwings Flight 9525 by Andreas Lubitz could serve as a wake-up call for organizations to conduct calibrated risk assessments to mitigate insider threats. Read more.

Routledge Handbook of Comparative Political Institutions
Routledge Handbooks
Chenoweth, Erica

Resilience and Resolve: Communities against Terrorism
Imperial College Press Insurgency and Terrorism Series
Gunaratna, Rohan, Arie W. Kruglanski, Michele J. Gelfand, Jocelyn J. Belanger and Malkanthi Hetiarachchi​

Congressman Ruppersberger visits START
Immediate-past ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee Rep. C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger spent time at START this month, speaking with students and researchers about the organization’s mission and portfolio of work. Read more.
START hosts delegation of CVE experts from Middle East
START researchers met with a delegation of Countering Radical Ideologies (or Countering Violent Extremism) experts from the Middle East. The individuals were invited to the area by the State Department to explore issues of CVE in the United States. Read more.
Students launch No Hate USA campaign to counter extremist messaging
“How have you proved the haters wrong?” The question is sweeping across social media platforms thanks to a group of University of Maryland students attempting to oppose the online recruiting efforts of terrorist groups and other violent extremists. Read more.


START student wins Fulbright Award
Global Terrorism Minor student Julia Connell earned a coveted spot in the English Teaching Assistantship Program through the Fulbright- Turkish Higher Education Council. She will spend nine months in Turkey starting this fall. Read more.

Freshmen add a spark to risk communication and resilience research
Twenty-five University of Maryland freshmen are lighting a fire beneath START’s Risk Communication and Resilience research. Part of the university’s highly competitive First-Year Innovation & Research Experience (FIRE) program, the students are working on several START projects. Read more.
NIH fellow, former START intern strives to create culture of responsible scientific investigation
As Marissa Latterman works her way through a competitive fellowship with the National Institutes of Health, she finds herself calling upon her training as a Chemical Biological Special Projects Intern for START. Read more.


 Risk communication researchers earn top paper awards
Researchers in START’s Risk Communication and Resilience Program recently received awards for research excellence. Read more.
The future of the Hamas movement: A journalist’s perspective
Shlomi Eldar, journalist-in-residence at the Gildenhorn Institute for Israel Studies at the University of Maryland and contributing writer for Al-Monitor’s Israel Pulse, gave a talk at START headquarters on the current state of the Hamas movement. Read more.
START participates in Maryland Day
Near-freezing temperatures and cloudy weather did little to deter crowds from showing up to yet another successful Maryland Day in College Park. START students and staff spoke to visitors from across the state about research projects and educational opportunities, in addition to playing trivia games that tested one’s knowledge of terrorism and current events. Read more.


Emerging Training and Education Strategies for Homeland Security. 1 p.m. May 7 online.
International Non-Conventional Threat CBRNe USA conference. April 29 – May 1 Reston, Virginia.
Training in Risk and Crisis Communication. June 20-21 or July 18-19 at START Headquarters.


DHS S&T ‘National Conversation on Homeland Security and Technology’ Dialogue Series Participate Now.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection Officer Program Apply by May 11.
CREATE Executive Program in Counterterrorism Apply by June 1.
START Graduate Certificate in Terrorism Analysis Online Info Session RSVP by June 1.
Call for Abstracts: Nice Global Forum HLS & Crisis Management Submit by Oct. 1.
Call for Papers: Journal of International Relations Research Submit by Oct. 1.​




New York Times: Somali Militants Kill 147 at Kenyan University
The New York Times cites data from START’s Global Terrorism Database in an article released shortly after the attack on Garissa University in Kenya. Read more.
Foreign Policy: Portrait of an American Jihadist
John Horgan and Arie Kruglanski comment on why American citizens are drawn to foreign extremist groups like ISIS. Please note you may need a subscription to read this article. Read more.
CNN: The impact of ISIS beheadings: Is terror propaganda brutalizing us all?
Arie Kruglanski speaks to CNN about how ISIS’ tactic of beheading and propaganda videos may be psychologically ‘priming’ people to emulate them. Read more.
PBS (Video): Terrorism Roundtable
START Senior Researcher John Sawyer participates in this roundtable hosted by Dennis Wholey. View here.

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 hereCopyright © 2015 The National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism (START), All rights reserved.