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START Newsletter: Violent hate crimes and lone-actor terrorism; Cultural values and terrorism; Al-Shabaab

Newsletter highlights


Violent hate crimes offer insights into lone-actor terrorism 
Understanding the patterns of violent hate crimes may help law enforcement officers better understand lone-actor terrorism. When compared to group-based terrorism incidents, violent hate crimes are more predictive of when and where lone-actor terrorist attacks occurred, according to START research. Full story…

Rigid cultural values related to greater number of terrorist attacks
Cultural values and norms that promote rigid thinking are related to a greater number of terrorist attacks or fatalities, according to a new article by START researchers. Societies that privilege masculinity and are fatalistic and culturally tight have higher terrorism rates. Full story…
Background Report: Al-Shabaab Attack on Westgate Mall in Kenya
In light of the terrorist attack at Westgate Mall in Nairobi, Kenya, START has developed this background report highlighting attacks attributed to al-Shabaab, terrorism in Kenya and extended attacks involving hostages in barricade situations. Full story...


Is Aaron Alexis part of a larger phenomenon of lone-actor grievance-based violence?

In this editorial piece, Clark McCauley discusses how one might better understand the Navy Yard attack and shooter by exploring how he might be similar to lone-actor assassins, lone-actor school attackers and lone-wolf terrorists. Full story…

Commitment and Extremism: A Goal Systematic Analysis
Journal of Social Issues
Klein, Kristen M., and Arie Kruglanski
Far-Right Lone Wolf Homicides in the United States
Studies in Conflict & Terrorism
Gruenewald, Jeff, and Steven Chermak, Joshua D. Freilich

The Domestic Politics of International Religious Defamation
Politics and Religion
Henne, Peter S.

Gauging the Threat
Defence Procurement International
Ackerman, Gary, and Lauren Pinson
Intelligence and Surprise Attack: Failure and Success from Pearl Harbor to 9/11 and Beyond
Georgetown University Press
Dahl, Erik J.
One Cheer for Classical Realism, or Toward a Power Politics of Religion
Religion and the Realist Tradition
Routledge Studies in Religion and Politics
Henne, Peter S., and Daniel Nexon

START aims to strengthen defense capabilities against WMD-seeking terrorists
Thanks to a $2.75 million federal contract, START researchers are spearheading an innovative effort to integrate and expand the scientific understanding of threats related to illicit radiological/nuclear (RN) trafficking, smuggling networks and non-state actors within those networks. The effort will assist in centralizing and analyzing previous and new research in order to evaluate the current Global Nuclear Detection Architecture (GNDA) and adversary threats. Full story…
START to offer Massive Open Online Course
Set to debut early next year, “Understanding Terrorism and Terrorist Threat” will explore questions relating to the who, the what and the how of terrorism studies by introducing students to cutting edge research and the experts investigating these topics. The online course, free and open to anyone, will be led by Gary LaFree and Bill Braniff. Full story…
START Symposium showcases impactful research, datasets
Nearly 150 homeland security practitioners joined START this month for a one-day symposium on Sept. 11, highlighting some of the consortium’s most mature and impactful research efforts. Full story…
Researcher Spotlight: Jeff Gruenewald
Gruenewald’s childhood dream of being a police officer has been fueling his research interests since his undergraduate days at Indiana University, into his doctoral program in criminal justice at Michigan State University and now as a START investigator. Full story...

Corn Husker contributes to START internship program with State Department
Quinn Guilds always knew he wanted a career that allowed him to help people, but he hadn’t realized that pursuit would take him so far from his beloved Nebraska home and Huskers to a START/State Department internship. Full story…
START participates in UMD’s ‘Constitution Day 3.0’
START’s Elizabeth Petrun was among a panel of experts that discussed how the Constitution is keeping with and adapting to the digital era. Full story…
Researchers from START’s TRACC Program earn Top Paper Awards
Researchers for START’s Training and Risk Crisis Communication (TRACC) Program have earned Top Paper Awards for their research into how to best train emergency managers on using social media. Full story…
Background Report: Security Threat to Americans Abroad
The U.S. State Department renewed its August alert to Americans traveling abroad. The following START Background Report published last month,  includes information on terrorist attacks against U.S. targets abroad, attacks on U.S. diplomatic targets in particular and the recent activity of al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP). Full story…
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.

Syria: Fighters leave Free Syrian Army, join Al Nusrah Front
Hundreds of fighters have reportedly left the Free Syrian Army and joined forces with the al-Qaida-linked Al Nusrah Front. Full story…
Pakistan: Church bombing kills at least 75
At least 75 people were killed and more than 120 people were wounded in a suicide attack in Peshawar. Full story…
United States: Former FBI Agent to plead guilty to leaking classified information
A former FBI bomb technician has agreed to plead guilty to disclosing national defense information to the Associated Press. Full story…


  • START issues call for interactive teaching units on cybersecurity. Apply now.
  • Associate Professor (Criminal Justice & Criminology) University of Massachusetts Lowell. Apply now.
  • Assistant Professor (Criminal Justice & Criminology) University of Massachusetts Lowell. Apply now
  • Assistant Professor (Homeland Security) University at Albany (SUNY)Apply by Sept. 30.
  • START Hourly Research Assistant. Apply by Sept. 27.
  • START undergraduate and graduate internshipsApply by Oct. 1.
  • Study Abroad in Australia and the Pacific Rim. Apply by Oct. 1.

 "The Changing Nature of Radicalization in Pakistan," Shazadi Beg
12 p.m. Oct. 1
More info…
 “Leadership, Radicalization and Ideological Violence,” Gina Ligon, Peter Simi
11 a.m. Oct. 8
More info…
 “Hezbollah: The Global Footprint of Lebanon’s Party of God,” Matthew Levitt
5 p.m. Oct. 15. 
More info…
 “European and American Extreme Right Groups,” Manuela Caiani
11 a.m. Nov. 4
More info…
 “Countering Terrorism in Britain and France,” Frank Foley
11 a.m. Dec. 3.
 More info…

USA Today
Ahead of the September 11 anniversary, USA Today used data from the Global Terrorism Database to create their front page graphic “Top American Targets Abroad.”Full story...
The Washington Post
The Washington Post describes START’s Government Actions in Terror Environments (GATE) database the “most promising project” in helping evaluate counterterrorism policies thanks to the efforts of START researchers Erica Chenoweth and Laura Dugan. Full story...
The Sacramento Bee
The University of Maryland and Vanderbilt University are adding START Director Gary LaFree’s  new course “Understanding the Terrorist Threat” to their  Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs). Full story...

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
START researcher Anthony Lemieux wrote an article about preventing violent school-based attacks. Full story...
This is a selection of news clips from the past month.
A complete list of START’s media coverage can be found 


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.

Copyright © 2013 The National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism (START), All rights reserved.