A Department of Homeland Security Emeritus 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

February News: Support START on 3/3; GTD 1970-2019 release to researchers; new QAnon research brief


February News: Support START on 3/3; GTD 1970-2019 release to researchers; new QAnon research brief

February 26, 2021

NEWS

START asks donors to #STARTgiving for UMD Giving Day 2021
On Wednesday, March 3, START will participate in Giving Day, the University of Maryland’s annual 24-hour fundraising event. START’s focus this year is on raising funds to help provide experiential education opportunities for students that include research internships, participatory online courses and professional mentoring.

START research, education and professional training relevant to domestic extremism
Over the past 18 months, and especially following the January 6, 2021 insurrection, public and private institutions are paying increased attention to issues of domestic extremism and how best to address it. START data, findings and customized (synchronous and asynchronous in-person and online) professional training capabilities may be of relevance for federal, state, local, territorial and tribal governmental actors, as well as the private sector.

START resumes Global Terrorism Database collection; 1970 – 2019 data file now available to researchers
The Global Terrorism Database (GTD)™ team has resumed collection of the GTD, following a hiatus of several months in 2020 due to a funding lapse. Along with this development, START has made the latest data file – which spans 1970 to 2019 and includes more than 200,000 records of terrorist attacks – freely available to individual researchers and scholars.

START strengthens ties to private industry with strategic partnership, publications, events
Earlier this month, START Director William Braniff was featured in a Business Executive for National Security (BENS) virtual discussion regarding START’s increasing connectivity with the private sector. Working through UM Ventures-College Park and the Office of Research Administration, START has created a strategic partnership with CHC Global, an insurance intermediary and advisor dedicated to special risks, in part to help foster this engagement with the private sector.

FEATURED PUBLICATIONS

QAnon Offenders in the United States
START Research Brief
Jensen, Michael and Sheehan Kane

As of February 24, 2021, 56 QAnon followers have committed ideologically-motivated crimes in the United States. This includes two offenders who were inspired by the PizzaGate conspiracy, a precursor to QAnon, who committed crimes in 2016, and 27 individuals who participated in the Capitol insurrection on January 6, 2021. The offenders come from 27 states, including 7 from California, 4 from Arizona, 3 from New Jersey, 3 from New York, 3 from Pennsylvania, and 3 from Virginia. Using auxiliary data from the Profiles of Individual Radicalization in the United States (PIRUS) project, these infographics provide information on the characteristics of U.S. QAnon offenders and their crimes. 

Training Team Capabilities
Program Fact Sheet
START Training Team
 
START researchers are supported by a team of experienced training personnel that transition research findings into practitioner-focused in-person and online training products. Intended for a variety of audiences, START’s training products are designed to advance an academically informed understanding of topics related to our research portfolio and to support real-world application of research findings. Through START’s training products, participants improve their knowledge of factual baselines and proven methodologies, and build new skills to integrate research into policy and practice. 

EVENTS

UMD Giving Day
March 3, Online
Giving Day is a 24-hour fundraising event for all members of the University of Maryland community. Students, faculty, staff, parents, friends and alumni are invited to join the largest day of giving because we are all Terps! The goal is to raise critical funding and engage our community to advance the mission of the University of Maryland.
 
A Tale of Two Caliphates
11 a.m. ET March 8, Online
START Director William Braniff will give a virtual lecture titled "A Tale of Two Caliphates,” comparing and contrasting al-Qa’ida’s global jihadist agenda with that of the Islamic State, considering the implications of the competition between the two, and offering a grand-strategic response to the enduring threat posed by both.
 
Virtual Information Session: Internship Program (03/10/21)
2 p.m. ET March 10, Online
START’s Experiential Education Specialist Eva Coll will discuss how the internship program currently works, what students or recent graduates have to gain from their experience in the program, application requirements, and the projects offered within the center that interns will be working on.
 
Tracking Emerging Threats and Risk Networks in Eurasia
11 a.m. ET March 24, Online
Refinitiv World-Check Senior Research Analyst Liza Layer will provide a virtual talk on “Tracking Emerging Threats and Risk Networks in Eurasia.” This discussion will explore understanding sanctions networks and emerging threats posed by extremists active in Eurasia.
 
Virtual Information Session: Internship Program (03/30/21)
3 p.m. ET March 30, Online
START’s Experiential Education Specialist Eva Coll will discuss how the internship program currently works, what students or recent graduates have to gain from their experience in the program, application requirements, and the projects offered within the center that interns will be working on.

UMD Maryland Day
April 24, Online
The University of Maryland invites the community to enjoy a day of learning, fun and discovery — online! Join us as Maryland Day streams from College Park to wherever you are. This year, the virtual event will be held on Saturday, April 24 from 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. and the program will consist of 20 micro events.
 
Department of Homeland Security Centers of Excellence Summit 2021
May 17 – May 21, Online
The Department of Homeland Security Centers of Excellence Summit will take place virtually from Monday, May 17 to Friday, May 21. During the Summit, GTD Program Manager Erin Miller will participate in a panel titled “Domestic Extremist Threats to US: A Research Agenda,” organized by the National Counterterrorism, Innovation, Technology and Education (NCITE) Center of Excellence.

START IN THE NEWS

New York Times: How the Biden Administration can help solve our reality crisis
START Director William Braniff is quoted in this article about combatting conspiracy theories and misinformation.
 
Washington Post: Seeking to combat extremists in ranks, the military struggles to answer a basic question: How many are there?
START researcher Michael Jensen is quoted in this article about extremism in the U.S. military.
 
Sydney Morning Herald: Accused North Korean agent’s missile diagrams ‘high school level’, court hears
START researcher Steve Sin is quoted in this article about a North Korean ballistic missile proliferation trial.
 
Politico: The problem isn’t just one insurrection. It’s mass radicalization.
START researcher Michael Jensen is quoted in this article on mass radicalization and the Capitol Building insurrection.
 
Al Jazeera: Biden is promising ‘unity’. But what does that mean?
START researcher Arie Kruglanski is quoted in this article on the political divide in the United States.
 
NPR: How the FBI is responding to the rise in home-grown extremism
START researcher Michael Jensen is quoted in this radio spot on how the FBI is responding to domestic extremism.

Washington Post: Eroding trust, spreading fear: The historical ties between pandemics and extremism
START researcher Arie Kruglanski is quoted in this article about the spread of extremism during the COVID-19 pandemic.
 
New York Times: A small group of militants' outsize role in the Capitol attack
START Director William Braniff is quoted in this article about militia groups in the Capitol Building riots.

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.

Copyright © 2019 The National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism (START), All rights reserved.

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The National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism (START)

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5245 Greenbelt Rd

College Park, MD 20740