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

START Newsletter: Characteristics of violent groups; lone actors; security threats abroad


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START Newsletter: Characteristics of violent groups; lone actors; security threats abroad

August 29, 2013
 
FEATURED RESEARCH

Research Brief: The Organization and Leadership of Violence
A START research team has identified a cluster of certain characteristics that are a hallmark of ideological groups poised for violent action. The team examined ideological organizations using theory and methods that are typically applied to more conventional, for-profit organizations, and they discovered ways violent and non-violent ideological groups operate differently. Full story…
 
Lone actors significantly less involved in extremism
A new study by START researchers finds that far-right lone-actor extremists who have committed homicides were less likely to have participated in movement-related activities such as publishing movement materials and attending protests or rallies, and finds no evidence that loners rely more on extremist propaganda to “self-radicalize” than do other types of offenders. Full story…
 
Background Report: August Security Threat to Americans Abroad
In response to the State Department’s alerts to Americans traveling abroad earlier this month, START published this background information on terrorist attacks against U.S. targets abroad, attacks on U.S. diplomatic targets in particular and the recent activity of al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP). Full story…
 


DISCUSSION POINT

 
Taking Effective Risk and Crisis Communication for Granted?
In this editorial piece, Elizabeth Petrun and Brooke Fisher Liu discuss why it is important to create effective crisis communication training programs. Full story…
 


PUBLICATIONS

 
Lone-Offender Terrorists
Criminology & Public Policy
LaFree, Gary
 
Explaining Terrorism: Causes, Processes and Consequences
Political Studies Review
Crenshaw, Martha

Countering Terrorism in Britain and France: Institutions, Norms and the Shadow of the Past
Cambridge University Press
Foley, Frank
 
Cigarette smuggling and terrorism financing
Cognition and Crime: Offender Decision Making and Script Analyses
Hiropoulos, Alexandra, Joshua D. Freilich, Steven Chermak and Graeme R. Newman
 


START NEWS

START researchers awarded for using marketing constructs to understand violent groups
START researchers recently won the Best Paper Award and research stipends at an international marketing conference for their work examining organizational and leadership factors that relate to the notoriety of violent extremist organizations. Full story…
 
START researchers brief Senate Committee
START researchers Bill Braniff, Gary LaFree and Clark McCauley were invited to Capitol Hill this month to provide briefings for staff members of the U.S. Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs. Full story…
 
Researcher Spotlight: Arie Kruglanski
With a lengthy list of cities he’s lived in and an impressive resume to match, Arie Kruglanski’s experiences give him a unique perspective in the study psychology and terrorism. Full story…
 
GIS intern navigates world of opportunity
Kadeem Khan plans on going places. The Caribbean native and avid traveler has enjoyed putting his international and geographic information systems (GIS) expertise to the test this summer as a START intern. Full story…
 
Breiger turns regression models ‘inside out’ for CBRN study
During a recent START Research Roundtable, Ronald Breiger explained how he and a team of START researchers are developing innovative analytic methods to improve situational awareness of Chemical Biological Radiological and Nuclear activities. Full story…
 
Methodology and impact of risk communication research
START researchers recently detailed START’s Training in Risk and Crisis Communication Project, discussing its literature reviews, workshop, needs assessment survey and pilot training program. Full story…
 
Presidential Appointee Larry Stewart shares career tips, experience with START students
Despite his optimistic and warm demeanor, criminologist and recent presidential appointee Larry Stewart shared a hard-to-swallow stark truth with START students during a recent Career Profile Session. Full story…
 
Share how you use the GTD
In an effort to better understand the strengths and limitations of the GTD in practice, START would like to learn more about how the GTD informs your work. Please visit the GTD Contact Page and select "How I use the GTD" from the Action menu to share some details about how the GTD has worked for you. Full story…
 


SIGNIFICANT TERRORISM EVENTS IN THE NEWS
Tunisia: Islamists accept union plan to resolve crisis
Just a few days after agreeing to meet with opposition parties, Tunisia’s governing Islamist party, Ennahda, agreed to a transition plan proposed by the country’s powerful trade unions. Full story…
 
Egypt: Younger brother of al-Qaida leader arrested
Mohammed al-Zawahiri, the leader of the ultraconservative Jihadi Salafist group and younger brother of Ayman al-Zawahiri, was arrested at a security checkpoint in Giza on Aug. 17. Full story…
 
Thailand: Two Iranians jailed over bomb plot
Two Iranians have been convicted in a Bangkok court over a failed bomb plot last year that officials believe targeted Israeli diplomats. Full story…

 


OPPORTUNITIES

START issues call for interactive teaching units on cybersecurity
START will award up to six curriculum development awards of $1,000 to instructors who will develop interactive teaching units on the human aspects of cybersecurity -- origins and motivations of digital criminals/digital terrorists, the impact of digital attacks and the threat of attacks on communities, and/or strategies for attack preparedness and mitigation. Apply now.
 
Teach a terrorism or political violence class? Participate in a study. Apply now.
 
Career: Social Science Analyst for U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. Apply by Sept. 4.
 
Career: Assistant Professor (Homeland Security) University at Albany (SUNY). Apply by Sept. 30.
 


START IN THE NEWS

 
Violence across the Middle East
(PRI’s The World) START Executive Director Bill Braniff contributed to an article about increasing violence across the Middle East. Full story…
 
Why sit-ins succeed – or fail
(Foreign Affairs) START researcher Erica Chenoweth on why sit-ins succeed or fail – and why pro-Morsi encampments likely won't work. Full story…
 
Strength of terror groups today
(Wisconsin Public Radio) After reports about a renewed threat of violence by al-Qaida, START researcher Victor Asal offered his thoughts to Wisconsin Public Radio. Full podcast…
 
"Friction" Mechanisms at Work: More about Dzhokhar Tsarnaev
(Psychology Today) Clark McCauley writes about the “friction” mechanisms at work and the trajectory of violence in the case of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. Full story…
 
Attacks on U.S. diplomatic posts have killed hundreds since 1970
(Fierce Homeland Security) This article is based on a recent START Background Report about the August security threat to Americans abroad. Full story…  

 

This is a selection of news clips from the past month.
A complete list of START’s media coverage can be found here.
 

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.