A Department of Homeland Security Emeritus Center of Excellence led by the University of Maryland

Weapons and Tactics


Weapons and Tactics

Project Title Investigators Project Period
Global Terrorism Database (GTD) Acceleration Erin Miller January, 2019 to January, 2020
Program to Prepare Communities for Complex Coordinated Terrorist Attacks Erin Miller October, 2017 to August, 2019
Dissuading Adversaries and their Radiological/Nuclear Pathways: Integrating Deterrence Theory and Analytics in the Global Nuclear Detection Architecture (GNDA) Amy Pate, Brandon Behlendorf, Gary Ackerman, John Sawyer, Steve Sin, Hamid Mohtadi, Marcus A. Boyd October, 2013 to September, 2018
Two to Tango: Government and Terrorist Group Actions in Colombia Barnett S. Koven March, 2018 to June, 2018
Weapons Availability and Civil War Onset Barnett S. Koven March, 2018 to June, 2018
Profiles of Incidents Involving CBRN and Non-state Actors (POICN) Database Markus Binder March, 2010 to June, 2018
Country Reports on Terrorism - Statistical Annex Gary LaFree, Erin Miller May, 2012 to May, 2018
Unifying Approaches to Adversarial Modeling H. Brinton Milward, Ronald Breiger July, 2015 to December, 2017
Dynamics of Terrorism and Counterterrorism Campaigns Gary Ackerman, Joseph Young, R. Karl Rethemeyer, Victor Asal July, 2014 to December, 2017
Terrorist and Extremist Organizations (TEO) Database Jonathan Wilkenfeld, R. Karl Rethemeyer July, 2012 to December, 2016
Geospatial Analysis of Terror Finance Marcus A. Boyd July, 2015 to July, 2016
Anatomizing Radiological and Nuclear Non-State Adversaries Gary Ackerman, Jeffrey Bale, R. Karl Rethemeyer June, 2012 to January, 2014
Terrorist Behavior and Societal Tolerance of Violence Risa Brooks July, 2012 to December, 2013
Understanding and Combating Mass Casualty Terrorism (MCT) Gary Ackerman, Victor Asal June, 2008 to December, 2011
Guerilla Insurgency: The Springboard to Terrorism? Mark Lichbach June, 2008 to August, 2011
Key Dimensions in Understanding Terrorist Bomb Attacks Margaret Wilson June, 2008 to May, 2010
Empirical Analysis of IED Attacks Gary LaFree, Richard Legault June, 2008 to December, 2009
More Bang for the Buck?: Examining the Effect of Technological Change on Terrorist Use of Weapons of Mass Destruction Gary Ackerman, Jeffrey Bale July, 2005 to September, 2009
Modeling Risk of Future Terrorist Attacks Gary LaFree, Laura Dugan May, 2005 to June, 2009
Terrorist Groups and Weapons of Mass Destruction Gary Ackerman, Jonathan Wilkenfeld, R. Karl Rethemeyer, Victor Asal July, 2005 to May, 2008
Project Title Publication Date START Authors Publication Type
Toward a Model of Terrorist Behavior in Hostage-Taking Incidents August 2000 Wilson, Margaret Journal Article
Apparent Intended Lethality: Toward a Behavioral Model of Intention to Harm in Single Issue Bombing Campaigns September 2010 Wilson, Margaret START Reports
Islamic State Chemical Weapons: A Case Contained by its Context? March 2018 Tinsley, Herbert; Quigley, Jillian; Binder, Markus Journal Article
Temporal Sequencing, Incident Sophistication, and Terrorist Outcomes August 2016 Smith, Brent; Gruenewald, Jeff Research Brief
Common Sense or Gun Control? Political Communication and News Media Framing of Firearm Sale Background Checks after Newtown November 2015 Sell, Tara Journal Article
Making the Wrong Connection: The Determinants of Terrorist Targeting of Airplanes and Airports February 2010 Rethemeyer, R. Karl; Legault, Richard; Asal, Victor Conference Paper
The Softest of Targets: A Study on Terrorist Target Selection July 2009 Rethemeyer, R. Karl; Asal, Victor Journal Article
Maritime Insurgency May 2020 Rethemeyer, R. Karl; Asal, Victor Journal Article
The Strategy of Terrorism: How it Works, and Why it Fails December 2007 Neumann, Peter Book
Strategic Terrorism: The Framework and Its Fallacies January 2007 Neumann, Peter Journal Article
Analyzing Catastrophic Terrorist Events with Applications to the Food Industry January 2007 Mohtadi, Hamid Book Chapter
Bombings at the 2013 Boston Marathon April 2013 Miller, Erin; Smarick, Kathleen Background Report
Integrated United States Security Database (IUSSD): Data on the Terrorist Attacks in the United States Homeland, 1970 to 2011 December 2012 Miller, Erin; LaFree, Gary; Dugan, Laura START Reports
Terrorist Attacks Involving Package Bombs, 1970 — 2017 October 2018 Miller, Erin; Distler, Michael Fact Sheet
Terrorist Attacks Targeting Critical Infrastructure in the United States, 1970-2015 June 2016 Miller, Erin START Reports
Terrorism in Mali November 2015 Miller, Erin Fact Sheet
Terrorism in Belgium and Western Europe; Attacks against Transportation Targets; Coordinated Terrorist Attacks March 2016 Miller, Erin Background Report
Momin Khawaja: Mechanisms of Radicalization August 2016 McCauley, Clark; Moskalenko, Sophia START Reports
A Strategic Analysis of Violent Extremist Organizations in the United States Central Command Area of Responsibility March 2020 Ligon, Gina Scott White Paper
START Annual Meeting 2016: Quick-Fire Presentation - Terrorism and Radicalization October 2016 Lemieux, Anthony; Koven, Barnett S.; Ackerman, Gary; LaFree, Gary; Ligon, Gina Scott; Satana, Nil; James, Patrick; Simi, Peter; Breiger, Ronald; Chermak, Steven Presentation
Weapon Choice and American Political Violence: A Comparison of Terrorists and Other Felons in Federal Custody August 2009 Legault, Richard Journal Article
Developing An Empirical Understanding of Improvised Explosive Devices: A Social and Behavioral Science Perspective August 2009 LaFree, Gary; Legault, Richard START Reports
Testing a Rational Choice Model of Airline Hijackings November 2005 LaFree, Gary; Dugan, Laura Journal Article
Terrorism and the North Caucasus: An Overview April 2013 Johns, Mila Background Report
An Overview of Bombing and Arson Attacks by Environmental and Animal Rights Extremists in the United States, 1995-2010 April 2013 Freilich, Joshua; Chermak, Steven; Parkin, William START Reports
Research Highlight: Bombing and Arson Attacks by Environmental and Animal Rights Extremists in the United States, 1995-2010 May 2013 Freilich, Joshua; Chermak, Steven; Parkin, William Research Brief
Investigating the Applicability of Situational Crime Prevention to the Public Mass Violence Context December 2019 Freilich, Joshua; Chermak, Steven Journal Article
Disrupting Terrorist Assassinations Through Situational Crime Prevention July 2017 Freilich, Joshua Journal Article
Simultaneous Attacks by Terrorist Organisations December 2013 Deloughery, Kathleen Journal Article
The Drone Debate: A Primer on the U.S. Use of Unmanned Aircraft Outside Conventional Battlefields December 2015 Colon, Carlos Rafael Book
Correcting the Record: Civilians, Proportionality and the Jus ad Vim June 2017 Colon, Carlos Rafael Book Chapter
How Community Ties Influence Terrorist Targeting of Civilians November 2013 Brooks, Risa Research Brief
TOC as a Growing Threat to Regional, Global Security January 2022 Boyd, Marcus A.; Henkin, Samuel D. Journal Article
Intersections of Illicit Trafficking and Counterfeit Parts Workshop January 2022 Boyd, Marcus A. Report
Catch Them Coming and Going: Probabilistic Pathway Projection to Counter Foreign Fighters March 2016 Boyd, Marcus A. START Reports
Probabilistic Pathway Projection to Counter Foreign Fighters April 2016 Boyd, Marcus A. Research Brief
Nuclear Weapons and Existential Threats: Insights from a Comparative Analysis of Nuclear-Armed States October 2014 Asal, Victor Journal Article
CBRN Activity and Attacks by Insurgent Organizations October 2015 Ackerman, Gary; Rethemeyer, R. Karl; Asal, Victor Research Brief
Ricin Letters Mailed to President and Senator April 2013 Ackerman, Gary; Pinson, Lauren; Johns, Mila Background Report
Application of a Profile Similarity Methodology for Identifying Terrorist Groups That Use or Pursue CBRN Weapons September 2017 Ackerman, Gary; Milward, H. Brinton; Rethemeyer, R. Karl; Breiger, Ronald; Asal, Victor Book Chapter
Modelling Terrorist Technology Transfer April 2019 Ackerman, Gary; Earnhardt, Rebecca (Becca) White Paper
A Quantitative Overview of Biological Weapons: Identification, Characterization, and Attribution May 2008 Ackerman, Gary; Asal, Victor Book Chapter
The Provisional Irish Republican Army and the Development of Mortars March 2016 Ackerman, Gary Journal Article
Jihadists and Weapons of Mass Destruction November 2008 Ackerman, Gary Book
Human and Social Forces in the Spread of the IED Threat: Innovation, Diffusion and Adaptation April 2009 Ackerman, Gary START Reports
Jihadists and WMD: a re-evaluation of the future threat October 2014 Ackerman, Gary Journal Article
New START model forecasts the flow of foreign fighters
START study leads to support for SLTT officials
Intern team authors peer-reviewed journal article on Hamas
Scavenger hunt activity helps START team assess capability of mobile radiation detectors
START launches online course on terror-crime nexus and CBRN
Terrorist attacks involving firearms more likely to be lethal than other types of attacks
A closer look at the 2,600 terrorist attacks in US, 1970-2012
Despite fewer attacks in Western world, global terrorism increasing
Discussion Point: The Prospective Military Power of Al Qaeda Affiliated Groups in the Syrian Conflict
START adds third course to summer line-up
Researcher analyzes how community ties impact terrorist groups’ targeting of civilians
START seeking 2014 Outstanding Article Award nominations
START Newsletter: Violent hate crimes and lone-actor terrorism; Cultural values and terrorism; Al-Shabaab
Lone-actors fueled by grievance, personal crises, weapons use
START study assesses attacks by environmental and animal rights extremists
Jeffrey Lewis discusses history and culture behind suicide bombings
Discussion Point: From the Caucasus to Boston and Beyond
Hegghammer explains variation in western jihadists
Trends in terrorism in the U.S.: New report analyzes terrorist attack data 1970-2011
Discussion Point: Black Swans and Burstiness—Countering Myths about Terrorism
START director to lecture on contrasting nature of terrorism
Research Roundtable event features START researcher Brandon Behlendorf
Student researches ties between terrorism and the Olympics
Al-Qaida's fatal terrorism under Osama bin Laden
START Releases 2011 Research Review
START Assesses Impact of 9/11
START Researchers Present at American Political Science Association Annual Conference
START Investigators Participate in 2011 American Sociological Association Annual Conference
START Researchers Featured in Journal of Homeland Security
Exciting Winter Courses Now Offered ONLINE
Press Release: START Panel Addresses Key Questions in Terrorism
**START Releases 2010 Update to the Global Terrorism Database**
***Background Info: Moscow Subway Bombing***
Winter 2010 START Bulletin Now Available
START releases first Research Review
***Background on Terrorism and Public Opinion in Indonesia***
**Far-Right Attacks on U.S. Law Enforcement and Security Guards**
***Terrorist Attacks on Religious Figures, Religious Institutions, and Military Targets***
START Announces 2009-2010 Undergraduate Research Program Award Recipients
Background Information on Terrorism in India
Global Terrorism Database Data Files Now Available through Terrorism and Preparedness Data Resource Center
New Fall 2008 UMD Course: Innovation and Terrorist Tactics
START Announces Fellowships for 2005-06
Image Title Job Title Institution
Jeff Gruenewald

Associate Professor and Director of the Terrorism Research Center, University of Arkansas

University of Arkansas
John Sawyer John Sawyer

Director of Strategic Corporate Research Relationships

University of Maryland
Laura Dugan Laura Dugan

Ralph Mershon Professor of Human Security and Professor of Sociology 

The Ohio State University
Nathan Meehan

Director of Research and Development, Second Sight Training Systems, LLC

Second Sight Training Systems, LLC
Prabhakar Misra Prabhakar Misra

Professor of Physics

Howard University
Rebecca (Becca) Earnhardt

Presidential Scholar, Biodefense PhD Student

George Mason University
Rhyner Washburn

Cyber Intelligence Researcher, START

University of Maryland
Steve Sin

Director, Unconventional Weapons and Technology (UWT)

Subject Matter Expert Instructor, National Center for Security & Preparedness

University of Maryland
Thomas Guarrieri

Director of Undergraduate Studies

Assistant Research Scientist, Unconventional Weapons & Technology (UWT) Division, START

University of Maryland
Tyler A. Clark

Data Scientist, Doctoral Student

University of Maryland
Victor Asal

Associate Professor of Political Science and Chair of Public Administration

University at Albany, State University of New York

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