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START Newsletter: Intelligence and security; perspectives on terrorism; Hezbollah; 'big data' and coding

Newsletter highlights


New research challenges conventional wisdom of intelligence and security
A new analysis by Erik Dahl shows that it is the lack of precise intelligence and receptive decision makers – not “missed” warning signs – that leaves the United States vulnerable to surprise attacks. He says that the broad, strategic approach used in current intelligence practices to identify big-picture threats might be wrong. Read more.
‘Perspectives on Terrorism and Responses to It’
START researchers contributed articles to a recent white paper with articles about profiles of lone-actor terrorists and how to overcome shortcomings in radicalization research. The paper itself aims to provide critical, contemporary thinking on the subject of terrorism. Read more.


Embrace “Big Data,” but don’t ignore the human element in data coding
In this editorial piece, START researchers Peter Henne and Jonathan Kennedy discuss the downside of replacing laborious human coding procedures with a “big data” computer platform solution. The duo argues that human analysis needs to continue on in concert with computer platform approaches. Read more.


Transnational Terrorism
The Library of Essays on Transnational Crime
Edited by Chermak, Steven M., and Joshua D. Freilich
Is all Jihad Local? Transnational Contention and Political Violence in Somalia
Globalizing Somalia
Bloomsbury Publishing
Henne, Peter S.
Congress Report: Experts' Recommendations on Enacting Best Practices in Risk Crisis Communication
Journal of Contingencies and Crisis Management
Janoske, Melissa, and Stephanie Madden, Brooke Fisher Liu
Terrorism - A (self) love story
American Psychologist
Kruglanksi, Arie, et al.
Building Community Resilience to Counter Violent Extremism
Democracy and Security
Weine, Stevan, and Schuyler Henderson, Stephen Shanfield, Rupinder Legha, Jerrold Post

‘Hezbollah: The Global Footprint of Lebanon’s Party of God’
It is Hezbollah’s covert activities abroad that are the least understood aspect of this organization, according to Dr. Matthew Levitt, who began to fill this knowledge gap in his new book and in a talk recently at START. Read more.
Researcher Spotlight: Dr. Clark McCauley
Now a renowned psychologist who literally wrote the book on radicalization, Clark McCauley wasn’t always set on a career in academia. He had planned to travel the world with the military but instead pursued a career in science and research to improve our understanding of the world. Read more.
Return of the intern
Anna Pavlos, a junior at the University of Maryland, can’t seem to get enough of START. This is not her first nor her second, but her third internship with the Consortium. Pavlos currently works on the Terrorism Propaganda Research Project within the University of Maryland psychology department. Read more.
START seeking Outstanding Article Award nominations
This new award from START honors exceptional contributions made by START-affiliated scholars in article form. The award will be given annually for the peer-reviewed article that makes the most outstanding contribution to research on the human causes and consequences of terrorism. Read more.
Register now for “Understanding Terrorism and the Terrorist Threat”
Register now for START’s free and open-to-anyone online course, “Understanding the Terrorist Threat,” which will explore questions relating to the who, the what and the how of terrorism studies. The course begins Jan. 27 and will be led by Gary LaFree and William Braniff. Read more.
Share how you use the GTD
In an effort to better understand the strengths and limitations of the GTD in practice, START would like to learn more about how the GTD informs your work. Please visit the GTD Contact Page and select "How I use the GTD" from the Action menu to share some details about how the GTD has worked for you.

START issues call for interactive teaching units on cybersecurity. Apply now.
START undergraduate and graduate internships. Apply by Nov. 13.

DHS HS-STEM Summer Internship Program. Apply by Jan. 6.

European and American Extreme Right Groups and the Internet, by Manuela Caiani
Online, 11 a.m. Nov. 4. Register now.
Countering Terrorism in Britain and France, by Frank Foley
Online, 11 a.m. Dec. 3. Register now.

CNN talks with Gary LaFree and researcher Martha Crenshaw about the rise in global terrorism in recent years and it may be occurring. The story also cites some preliminary GTD 2012 data. Read more.
The New York Times
Executive Director Bill Braniff weighs in on the American military raid in Somalia on al-Shabaab leader Ikrimah. Read more.
Fierce Homeland Security
Director Gary LaFree is featured in a Q&A discussion about START’s efforts, impact and the evolving study of terrorism. Read more.
The number of terrorist attacks attributed to al-Qaida-linked groups has been increasing, explains START investigator Erin Miller in this story. START data is also used to model al-Shabaab’s increased attacks and lethality. Read more.
Foreign Policy
As public protests sweep the Middle East and elsewhere, Erica Chenoweth explores the question, "When does civil resistance work?" Read more.  (Subscription required.)
Bloomberg Businessweek
Bloomberg cites START data on al-Shabaab attacks as experts and analysts evaluate the organization’s threat to American homeland security. 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.