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

START Special Edition: White House Summit on CVE

In the spirit of this week’s White House Summit on Countering Violent Extremism (CVE), the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism (START) is releasing three new pieces of research and highlighting recent work exploring CVE topics.

*Research Brief: The Role of Community Policing in CVE
Through a series of ethnographic interviews and observations with Los Angeles police officers and Muslim-American community leaders, parents, and youth, a new START study explores how community policing must be enhanced and adapted to further CVE strategy, how such adapted policing works, and how CVE-oriented community policing differs from traditional community policing. Read more.
*Research Brief: Understanding Communities’ Attitudes towards CVE
In examining the ways in which advocates for Muslim American communities in Los Angeles characterize the premise, practices, and impact of countering violent extremism, a START research team explored the concept of CVE engagers and disengagers. They found that overall, CVE engagers believe, “we turned the community into the solution” whereas disengagers question the premise of CVE, asserting “we are not who you say we are.” Read more.

*Report: Validation of the Nationwide Suspicious Activity Reporting (SAR) Initiative
In support of the Nationwide Suspicious Activity Reporting (SAR) Initiative (NSI), a START research team conducted studies examining and identifying indicators of suspicious activity using the Extremist Crime Database (ECDB) and the American Terrorism Study Database at the University of Arkansas. The results of the ECDB and ATS projects confirmed that pre-incident activities occurring prior to acts of terrorism crimes do often align with existing SAR indicators. Read more.

Research Brief: Profiles of Individual Radicalization in the United States
Interim findings from START’s Profiles of Individual Radicalization in the United States (PIRUS) project reveal that since World War II, radicalization in the United States has occurred in several waves and that certain risk factors for radicalization were common among Islamist, Far Left, and Far Right extremists. Read more.
Research Brief: Patterns of Lone Actor Terrorism in the United States
Lone-actor terrorists are relatively few in number but are proportionately responsible for more incidents in the United States than group-based terrorists, according to START research. This brief explores how lone actors exhibit different characteristics and behavioral tendencies than their group-based counterparts. Read more.
Report and Brief: Building Resilience to Violent Extremism among Somali-Americans in Minneapolis-St. Paul
Using ethnographic methods, this study looked at the everyday lives of Somali‐American adolescent boys and young men and identified three main risk factors that, when combined, increased the potential for violent extremism in Somali-American youth in Minneapolis-St. Paul: youth’s unaccountable times and unobserved spaces; the perceived social legitimacy of violent extremism; and contact with recruiters or associates.

Program Announcement: START’s CVE Education and Training Initiatives
This program fact sheet details some ways in which, in addition to research, START is involved in Countering Violent Extremism education and training. Read more.
Discussion Point: CVE: An Idea Whose Time has Come
In this editorial piece, START Executive Director William Braniff discusses the importance of countering violent extremism (CVE) now given the current and potential impact of the Islamic State and al-Qaida and Associated Movements. Read more.


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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.