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

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

December news: Gray Zone conflicts explained; Global Terrorism Index released; CVE principles for local government


December news: Gray Zone conflicts explained; Global Terrorism Index released; CVE principles for local government

December 6, 2016
FEATURED RESEARCH
Demystifying Gray Zone conflict in Libya and Colombia
In a new report and research brief, START researchers highlight the dynamics of Gray Zone conflict – the conceptual space between peace and war – in Libya since 2014 (report) and Colombia since 2002 (research brief).

START data informs 2016 Global Terrorism Index
The Institute for Economics and Peace recently released the 2016 Global Terrorism Index. The report, based on START’s Global Terrorism Database, offers insight on long-term terrorism trends, socio-economic conditions where terrorism occurs, geopolitical and ideological aims of terrorist groups, and evolving terrorist strategies based on 2015 attack data from the GTD. Read more.


DISCUSSION POINT

CVE Field Principles for Local Government Agencies
In this editorial piece, Joumana Silyan-Saba and Alejandro Beutel describe four field principles for local government practitioners that can be used to inform their CVE policy formation and implementation, and discuss challenges facing local government involvement in CVE. Read more.


PUBLICATIONS

Maritime Security Initiatives: A Paper Tiger or a Concrete Solution?
Natural Hazards Observer
Sin, Steve, and Brecht Volders, Sylvian Fanielle
 
Data-driven system identification of the social network dynamics in online postings of an extremist group
IEEE International Conference on Cybercrime and Computer Forensic
Diaz, Alejandro R., and Jongeun Choi, Thomas J. Holt, Steven Chermak, Joshua D. Freilich
 


START NEWS

START assists DARPA in first large-scale test of advanced radioactive threat detection system
A unique START and Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) project recently tested the feasibility of using small, portable radiation detectors in large urban settings during an all-day scavenger hunt in Washington, D.C. Several hundred volunteers—each toting a backpack containing smartphone-sized radiation detectors—walked for hours around the National Mall searching for clues in a fictional “whodunit” mystery to locate a geneticist who had been mysteriously abducted. Read more.
 
Co-taught course brings new potential for grad students
To further student engagement and course innovation, START’s Graduate Certificate in Terrorism Analysis will feature its first co-taught course this spring. Michael Jensen and Omi Hodwitz will draw on their varied academic backgrounds – political science and criminology, respectively – for “Research Methods in Terrorism and Counterterrorism.” Applications for the graduate certificate program will be accepted until Jan. 12. Read more.
 
START research assistant named Marshall Scholar
University of Maryland senior Aaron Solomon earned a 2017 Marshall Scholarship, widely considered one of the most prestigious academic awards available to college graduates. Solomon is currently working with START's Unconventional Weapons and Technology team in developing software for a project assessing the threat of nuclear weapon smuggling. Read more.
 
The fascinating puzzle of the GTD
While some may consider data cleaning mundane, GTD Program Manager Erin Miller describes it as a massive, fascinating puzzle, on which she was instantly hooked. After more than 12 years working with the world’s most comprehensive open-source database of terrorist attacks, Miller remains as engaged as ever. Read more.
 
START intern incorporates lawyer background into counterterrorism projects
Having already earned her juris doctorate at the University of Lagos and her master’s in law at American University, Tolu Odukoya is now studying Terrorism and Homeland Security Policy at American University and interning at START. Given her Nigerian roots and her up-close look at Boko Haram, she often finds herself bringing a different perspective to her classes and coursework. Read more.
 
LaFree co-chairs U.S.-Russia counterterrorism seminar
START Director Gary LaFree and former U.S. Ambassador to Russia Thomas Pickering recently co-chaired a U.S.-Russia Inter-Academy seminar on terrorism and violent extremism. Read more.
 


START EVENTS

Graduate Certificate in Terrorism Analysis Virtual Information Session
Wednesday, Dec. 7
 
TEVUS Portal Virtual Introduction and Demonstration
Thursday, Dec. 15
 
Gunes Ertan: “Using Network Analysis to Understand Collective Learning and Mobilization: Application to the 2013 Uprising in Turkey”
Thursday, Dec. 15, 11 a.m. – 12 pm, START office
 
Book Talk: Gary LaFree and Martha Crenshaw “Countering Terrorism: No Simple Solutions”
Thursday, Feb. 23, 11 a.m. – 12:30 p.m., Stamp Student Union
 


START OPPORTUNITIES

Apply for spring admission to START’s graduate certificate program
Apply by Jan. 12.
 
Identify relationships, conduct sophisticated analysis with dynamic new portal 
Built from four related open-source databases, the TEVUS Portal compiles behavioral, geographic and temporal characteristics of terrorism and extremist violence in the United States dating back to 1970. Through the portal, users are able to build search queries on four data types: events, perpetrators, groups and/or court cases. The dynamic, unique interface allows users to quickly identify relationships between these types of data and conduct sophisticated analysis on terrorist attacks, pre-incident activities and extremist crimes in the United States. Access to the portal is free. Learn more or register to use the portal.
 
Learn how to navigate and analyze world's largest unclassified database on terrorist attacks
With systematic data on more than 150,000 terrorist attacks that have occurred since 1970, the Global Terrorism Database (GTD) has become a critical resource in providing empirical data on terrorism. To help new and seasoned GTD users better understand the analytical power of the database, START has launched a new self-paced, video training series. The first module focuses on the data collection process, instruction on analytical strengths and weaknesses of large datasets and an introduction to pivot tables and foundational graphing. The online training modules are appropriate for security professionals and scholars, and are designed to improve their analytical and critical thinking skills while advancing their competency in Microsoft Excel. Additional training modules – which focus on patterns over time, perpetrators, weapons and tactics and bivariate relationships – will be released over time. Learn more and register here
 
The Terror-Crime Nexus & Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear (CBRN) Threats online course. Register now.
 
Understanding Terrorism and the Terrorist Threat online open course is now on demand. Participate now.
 
Free online short series of video lectures on “Core Capabilities and Potential Durability of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).” View now.
 
START Education Blog featuring opportunities and local events. View now.
 


OTHER OPPORTUNITIES

 
Department of Homeland Security, DHS STEM Summer Internships Apply by Dec. 7.
 
Conflict Dynamics International, Research Assistant for PVE/CVE Apply Now.
 
Ocean City Police Department Testing Apply Now.
 


STUDENT BLOG

START IN THE NEWS

Al-Madina Institute: Advancing the Conversation on CVE
Alejandro J. Beutel, along with interns Asma Shah and Mimi Yu, wrote this piece on CVE for the Al-Madina Institute. Read more. Alejandro also recorded a podcast with the Al-Madina Institute. Listen here.
 
PBS NewsHour: Reverse Course
Arie Kruglanski appeared in a segment on this edition of PBS NewsHour about using deradicalization through counseling. Watch here - the segment begins at 31:40.
 
Reuters: Global terrorism deaths fall, but rise 650 percent in OECD countries
This article from Reuters covers the release of the 2016 Global Terrorism Index, which uses data from the Global Terrorism Database. Read more.
 
Jerusalem Post: The mind of the attacker: what happened at Ohio State?
William Braniff is quoted in this story about the recent attack at Ohio State University and the possible motivations behind it. Read more.
 


SUPPORTING START

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.

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