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

University R&D to protect the homeland; START names new UWT director

COE Summit 2018: University Research and Development to Protect the Homeland 

Join START on May 30-31, as it participates in the Department of Homeland Security Centers of Excellence Summit 2018, which will spotlight “University Research & Development to Protect the Homeland.” Sponsored by the national network of university-led U.S. Department of Homeland Security Centers of Excellence (COEs), the summit aims to:

  • Provide subject matter experts to discuss current and future homeland security challenges
  • Showcase innovative R&D tools and solutions to homeland security challenges
  • Facilitate collaboration among DHS COE researchers, homeland security enterprise leadership and component end-users and industry participants
  • Provide avenues to accelerate the transition from R&D to reality for those who protect the homeland

The summit will be held at George Mason University’s Arlington Campus. Registration and additional information about the COE Summit 2018 is available online at http://cina.gmu.edu/coesummit18.


Islamic State Chemical Weapons: A Case Contained by its Context?

The CTC Sentinel recently published a paper by START researchers assessing the chemical warfare capabilities of the Islamic State. Read more.


Election Anxiety is Driving Erdogan’s Decisions in Syria
START researcher Max Erdemandi discusses how the 2019 Presidential Election in Turkey has implications on President Erdogan’s strategy in Syria. Read more.
ICYMI: New defense strategy requires paradigm shift in US counterterrorism
Published in The Hill, this editorial piece co-authored by William Braniff argues that the recent shift in prioritization from counterterrorism to great power competition described in the National Security Strategy requires that the U.S. Government pursue more effective and efficient counterterrorism. Read more.

How Prepared Are the Public and Responders for Nuclear Terrorism?
Health Physics
Buddemeier, Brooke, and Robert Levin, Stephen V. Musolino, David Pasquale, Monica Schoch-Spana

Risk in Extreme Environments: Preparing, Avoiding, Mitigating, and Managing
Bier, Vicki M.
Terrorist Tactics by Criminal Organizations: The Mexican Case in Context
Perspectives on Terrorism 
Phillips, Brian J.
Terrorist Group Rivalries and Alliances: Testing Competing Explanations
Studies in Conflict & Terrorism
Phillips, Brian J.

The Social Psychological Makings of a Terrorist
Current Opinion in Psychology
Webber, David, and Arie W. Kruglanski

Sin named director of START UWT program
START has named Dr. Steve Sin the new director of the Unconventional and Weapons Technology (UWT) team at START. A researcher at START since 2014, Sin has been instrumental in building UWT’s portfolio of projects that provide actionable knowledge about chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear (CBRN) and other emerging technological threats emanating from non-state actors. Read more.
Innovative START project wins UMD-TEC seed funding
START Researcher Barnett Koven and Ramon Brena, from the Intelligent Systems Research Group, have received research funding from the University of Maryland (UMD) and Tecnologico de Monterrey, Mexico (TEC). Their project will explore the process of predicting fashion trends and how those processes can be used to predict terrorism trends. Read more.
CRED students lead round table dialogue about community resilience
Earlier this month, the fellows – Noreen Duke, Ryan Garfinkel, Anjali Kalaria and Samuel Karalnik – led START staff and interns in a round table discussion about empathy and community resilience in preparation for a larger Dialogue Dinner April 4 for University of Maryland administrators and student leaders. Read more.
Visiting professor discusses the changing landscape of online terrorism
Gabriel Weimann, a researcher, author and Professor of Communication at Haifa University in Israel, delivered a presentation about the changing landscape of online terrorism last month at the University of Maryland as part of the Gildenhorn Institute for Israel Studies lecture series. Read more.
START opportunity sparks pursuit of a passion project
In addition to his schoolwork and internship responsibilities, START student Ryan Garfinkel is pursuing a passion project – a coordinated effort between USAID, NGOs, and Microfinancing organizations to build a crowdsourced micro granting platform for youth-led peace and security initiatives. Read more.


Dialogue Dinner to improve community resilience at UM



Rally Point: Veterans Innovated On The Battlefield, Now They Are Innovating Here At Home — Meet William Braniff
Rally Point, the professional military network, featured START Executive Director William Braniff in this article showing how veterans continue to engage in work that supports and innovates homeland security.

New York Times: Were the Austin Bombings acts of terrorism? Why law enforcement says no
Victor Asal is quoted in this article about the bombings in Austin and the definition of terrorism.
Playboy: How to Deprogram a White Supremacist
START researchers Pete Simi and Peter Weinberger were quoted in this article about how to deradicalize white supremacists.
LA Times: Guns play an outsized role in deaths from terrorist attacks, especially in the U.S., data show
This LA Times article about the relative use of guns in mass killings uses data from the Global Terrorism Database (GTD).
BBC: Can mapping conflict data explain, predict and prevent violence?
This article about using data mapping to predict and prevent future violence uses data from the Global Terrorism Database (GTD).
Aviation Security: Destination Paradise: inside the mind of a suicide bomber
Martha Crenshaw is quoted in this Aviation Security Magazine article about suicide bombers.
Politifact: NRA’s Loesch cherry-picks terrorism deaths in France to argue against assault weapon ban
William Braniff and Jeff Gruenewald were quoted in this Politifact article about the ongoing assault rifle ban debate.

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.