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

START Researchers Featured in Journal of Homeland Security

The Journal of Homeland Security has published the proceedings of the DHS University Network Summit Catastrophes & Complex Systems: Transportation that occurred March 30-April 1 in Washington, DC. Thirty-seven white papers from the Summit are now available in a special on-line issue. START researchers Victor Asal, R. Karl Rethemeyer and Richard Legault are featured in the issue for their work Terrorist Targeting of Airplanes and Airports.

This paper addresses why terrorist organizations target aviation, using the Big Allied and Dangerous database to explore this question. The paper focuses on ideology, experience, knowledge and environmental factors that might make an organization more or less likely to target aviation.

Brent Smith also has a paper featured on Characteristics of Border Crossings and Border Crossers Involved in American Terrorism . This paper identifies "officially designated" federal terrorism cases that involved border crossings. Analysts searched files of approximately 397 federal criminal court cases that were currently being tracked by the American Terrorism Study for the period 1980-2005. Border crossings have been confirmed in 97 cases. In addition to case summaries, quantitative data collection involves information on up to 224 variables for each crossing event.

Preliminary results include information on the type and location of each crossing, demographic characteristics of crossers, and links to acts of terrorism associated with each crossing. Although crossers represent a broad spectrum of terrorist groups, a majority were international terrorists targeting the United States.