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START Newsletter: County characteristics and incidents of terrorism

National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism (START)

New report examines relationship between county characteristics and incidents of terrorism
With a quarter of all terrorist attacks in the U.S. from 1990 to 2010 occurring in just 10 counties, START researchers aim to understand that clustering by examining the relationship between counties’ characteristics and incidents of terrorism. Their findings are detailed in a new report. Full story…
START report identifies new ways to train risk communication skills
A new START report lays the foundation for developing risk communication training that addresses practitioners’ stated needs and observed gaps in current training programs. After surveying 140 risk communicators and analyzing nearly 175 English-language training programs, the research team determined that future programs should incorporate blended learning formats and also train community-based audiences, among other key findings. Full story…


Prevention research is needed for countering violent extremism
In this editorial piece, Stevan Weine discusses the gap between White House policy to build community resilience to violent extremism and the state of research on the topic. He argues that if building community resilience to violent extremism through prevention remains a core commitment of the U.S. government, then intervention research should be highly prioritized. Full story…


START researchers present work on nexus of terrorism and trafficking
At a conference hosted by the Monterrey Institute of International Studies, a team of START researchers presented their work on transnational criminal organizations, terrorism and radiological/nuclear (RN) smuggling. Full Story…
Hegghammer explains variation in western jihadists
Thomas Hegghammer, a prominent scholar of jihadist ideology and practice, visited START headquarters in February to meet with START leadership and to discuss his American Political Science Review Article, “Should I Stay or Should I Go? Explaining Variation in Western Jihadists' Choice between Domestic and Foreign Fighting.” Full story…
GTD project shapes career goal for START intern
Six weeks from graduation, Katharine Sobotka tells the story about how she got involved in START and how an internship with START’s Global Terrorism Database changed her career goals and made her an expert on the terrorist group(s) Janatantrik Terai Mukti Morcha (JTMM). Full story…
START website proves critical resource for scholars, government
With nearly 2.6 million unique visits to its website in 2012, START (start.umd.edu) has become a critical website for terrorism research in the scholarly and government communities, increasing the number of visitors to its site by more than 27 percent since 2011 and 240 percent since 2009.
Graduate Certificate in Terrorism Analysis: Information Session, March 14
Current practitioners, those looking to break into the terrorism studies field and established scholars should apply now for START’s Graduate Certificate in Terrorism Analysis program. Applications will be accepted through April 15. Full story...

Call for papers: Criminological approaches to the study of terrorism
START researchers Joshua Freilich and Gary LaFree will guest edit a special issue of Terrorism and Political Violence (TPV) focused on the criminological approaches to the study of terrorism. TPV is currently seeking articles. Full story…

Apply for Summer or Fall START internships
Students from all universities and colleges are encouraged to apply for START internships for the Summer and Fall. Applications for a Summer internship must be received by April 7 (priority deadline March 31). Applications for a Fall internship must be received by July 14 (priority deadline June 2). Full story…


Characteristics of Lone-Wolf Violent Offenders: A Comparison of Assassins and School Attackers
This article is based on the idea that lone-wolf terrorists may have characteristics in common with two other types of lone-actor violent offenders:  assassins and school attackers. Authors Clark McCauley, Sophia Moskalenko and Benjamin Van Son used data from U.S. Government-sponsored reports to compare the characteristics of these two groups.  Click here for article.
European and American Extreme Right Groups and the Internet
Manuela Caiani and Linda Parenti’s book, “European and American Extreme Right Groups and the Internet” will release this month. Caiani and Parenti discuss examples of extreme right groups from across Europe and the U.S. using the internet to communicate, recruit new members and build and identity. Click here for book.


Nigeria: Who is Ansaru?
With the kidnapping and subsequent killing of seven foreign nationals in Nigeria, Ansarul Muslimina Fi Biladis Sudan (Ansaru) has gained recognition alongside Boko Haram. According to President Goodluck Jonathan, some of the hostages may be alive, however no evidence to support that statement has been provided. Full story…
Mali: AQLIM leader confirmed dead, but another said to be alive
Abdelhamid Abou Zeid, a leader within AQLIM, has been declared dead by multiple sources. The Chadian government also claimed that another leader within AQLIM, Mokhtar Belmokhtar, was killed in recent operations. However, other sources, including France, have expressed doubt that Belmokhtar is actually dead. Full story…
Cameroon: Kidnapped French family appears in video, perpetrators still in question
A family of seven was kidnapped on Feb. 19 while visiting Waza national park, near the border with Nigeria. A video of the Moulin-Fournier family was recently posted on YouTube. In it, the father read a statement claiming that his family was kidnapped by Boko Haram and that the group is demanding the release of prisoners linked to the organization in Cameroon and Nigeria. Full story…


In January, START Headquarters packed up its offices in Symons Hall and moved to the second floor of the University of Maryland’s Route 1 Annex, adjacent to campus at 8400 Baltimore Avenue, Suite 250, College Park, MD 20740. Full story…


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.

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