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START Newsletter: The state of al-Qaida


The State of Al-Qaida, its Affiliates and Associated Groups
In this oral testimony provided to the House Armed Services Committee, START Executive Director William Braniff discusses how al-Qaida remained the central hub in a network of highly lethal and active terrorist organizations despite not being responsible for any terrorist attacks in 2012. Read more.

The Structure of Success-How the Internal Distribution of Power Drives Armed Group Behavior and National Movement Effectiveness
International Security
Krause, Peter
Why Terror Networks are Dissimilar: How Structure Relates to Function
Networks and Network Analysis for Defence and Security
Leuprecht, Christian and Kenneth Hall
Modalities of National Sovereignty: Territorial Nationalism versus Islamic Fundamentalism in Muslim-Majority Countries
Population Studies Center, University of Michigan
Moaddel, Mansoor
Review: Child disaster mental health interventions
Disaster Health
Pfefferbaum, Betty, et al.
Universal Preventive Interventions for Children in the Context of Disasters and Terrorism
Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Clinics of North America
Pfefferbaum, Betty, et al.

Student research opportunities abound as internship program grows
An expanded research portfolio at START has fueled the growth of its flagship internship program, creating more substantive research opportunities for students at universities across the country. This spring, START is mentoring 106 interns, as compared to the 49 interns in the spring of 2012 and 10 interns in the summer of 2010. Read more.
START investigator commissioned to edit Routledge’s Major Works collection
Peter Neumann, Director of the International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation, has been commissioned by academic publisher Routledge to edit its forthcoming Major Works collection on radicalization. Read more.
START Executive Director testifies before Congress on state of al-Qaida
William Braniff, START’s executive director, served as an expert witness providing Congressional testimony before the House Armed Services Committee Feb. 4. Read more.
Researcher Spotlight: Risa Brooks
With an interest in civil-military relations and militant and terrorist groups, Risa Brooks’ research has taken her across the globe, most recently to the United Kingdom and the Middle East. Read more.
START intern Matthew Bednarz gains on-the-job experience
As a child, START intern Matthew Bednarz was determined to serve his country like his grandfather did in World War II. To this day, Bednarz’s Purple Heart winning grandfather continues to inspire him as he hones his professional aspirations and career goals in the intelligence community. Read more.

Hiring a Program Assistant for START’s flagship internship program. Apply by March 3.
Hiring Summer Fellows for project on illicit networks. Apply by March 15.
Summer internships at START. Apply by March 23.
Nominate a peer-reviewed article that makes an outstanding contribution. Submit by May 15.
START summer courses online and open to all. Application deadlines vary.

Research Director, National Center for Food Protection and Defense. Apply by March 6.
Student Volunteer Service Program, U.S. Secret Service. Apply by March 7.
Rumi Forum Fellowship Program 2014. Apply by March 7.
Best PhD Thesis in the Field of (Counter-) Terrorism Studies Annual Award by the Terrorism Research Initiative. Submit by March 31.
DHS Scientific Leadership Awards for Minority Serving Institutions Granting Bachelor Degrees. Apply by May 1.
Executive Program in Counterterrorism, National Center for Risk and Economic Analysis of Terrorism Events. Apply by June 1.


 “Homegrown Violent Extremism,” Book Talk by Erroll Southers. 11:30 a.m. March 3.
“God Loves the Just: American Muslims Tackling Extremism and the Path to Violence,” with Alejandro Beutel. 11 a.m. March 13.
“Terrorism and Counterterrorism: Israeli perceptions and response strategies,” with Meir Elran. 1 p.m. March 20.
 “Fountainhead of Jihad: The Haqqani Nexus, 1973-2012,” Book Talk by Don Rassler. 12:30 p.m. April 1.


War on the Rocks: 5 Questions with William Braniff on the State of al-Qaeda
The new foreign policy and national security web magazine interviews START Executive Director William Braniff about his recent testimony before the House Armed Services Committee on al-Qaida and the research behind his report. Read more.
Tech Page One: University-run database sheds light on terrorism
Decades of data from START's Global Terrorism Database (GTD) help shed light on the potential security threat associated with Olympic events. The article quotes GTD Program Manager Erin Miller about related data trends, as well as discusses general background and application of the GTD. Read more.
The Washington Times: The tangled web of words that 'al Qaeda' has become
START Executive Director William Braniff is quoted in this discussion of the challenges around defining and describing the complex group and movement of al-Qaida. Read more.
The Diamondback: Terrorism is a realistic threat at Olympics, START report concludes
The University of Maryland’s student newspaper The Diamondback considers the terrorist threat to the Sochi Olympics and heightened event security. It draws from START’s background report "Terrorism and the Olympics: Sochi, Russia 2014" and quotes START Investigator Erin Miller. Read more.
USA Today: Russian FSB has poor record against terrorists
USA Today uses GTD data from START's latest report, "Terrorism and the Olympics: Sochi, Russia 2014," to provide perspective on Russia's Federal Security Service (FSB) efforts to secure the Winter Olympics against the threat of terrorism. Read more.
Digital Journal: Research, Data and Expertise Access Made Easy on New START Website, Designed by Baltimore Web Development Firm, The Canton Group
Digital Journal highlighted the launch of START's new website and its many benefits, including the improved navigation capabilities for policymakers, researchers, and students. START Executive Director William Braniff describes many of the updates. 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. Copyright © 2014 The National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism (START), All rights reserved.