The Tidal Wave of Foreign Fighters in Syria: Situational Awareness for Counter-Terrorism Practitioners

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With the Society for Terrorism Research (STR) 8th Annual International Conference fast approaching, STR, partnered with the Center for Terrorism and Security Studies (CTSS), is launching a series of guest blog posts, written by those who will be presenting their research at STR14. In the fourth installment of this series Mubin Shaikh, a national security consultant and PhD Student with the University of Liverpool Tactical Decision Making Research Group, outlines the growing issues of foreign fighters in Syria, the embedded role of Social Media within this conflict and the implications of this for future domestic counter terrorism.

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Comparative Behavioural Analyses of Mental Illness across Terrorist Actors and Mass Casualty Offenders

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With the Society for Terrorism Research (STR) 8th Annual International Conference fast approaching, STR, partnered with the Center for Terrorism and Security Studies (CTSS), is launching a series of guest blog posts, written by those who will be presenting their research at STR14. In the third installment of this series Emily Corner, a Doctoral Student at University College London, discusses her research on behavioural analyses of mental illness in terrorists and mass casualty offenders. Continue reading

What does it take to get a violent extremist to put down their gun and walk away?

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With the Society for Terrorism Research (STR) 8th Annual International Conference fast approaching, STR, partnered with the Center for Terrorism and Security Studies (CTSS), is launching a series of guest blog posts, written by those who will be presenting their research at STR14. In the second installment of this series Kate Barrelle, a consultant clinical and forensic psychologist, discusses her recently completed PhD research (from Monash University’s Global Terrorism Research Centre, GTReC) on disengagement from, and life after extremism, and outlines a new conceptual model of disengagement called the Pro-Integration Model. Continue reading

The dynamics of a target selection process

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Oslo view of city

With the Society for Terrorism Research (STR) 8th Annual International Conference fast approaching, STR, partnered with the Center for Terrorism and Security Studies (CTSS), is launching a series of guest blog posts, written by those who will be presenting their research at STR14. In the first of this series Cato Hemmingby, Senior Advisor to the Norwegian Government Security and Service Organization and PhD Candidate at the Norwegian Police University College, provides a outline of the research he has been doing with Prof. Tore Bjorgo, aimed at understanding the process of target selection by terrorist actors.  Continue reading

DoD Minvera Grant Awards

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Department of Defense 2014 Minerva grant awards have been announced. UMass Lowell’s Center for Terrorism & Security Studies have received two of them – outstanding!

Update: Here is the formal UMass Lowell CTSS Press Release

See the full list at:  http://minerva.dtic.mil/funded.html

Green-on-who?

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Yesterday morning three Americans were killed by a member of the Afghan National Police who opened fire at a private hospital in Kabul. This is the second such attack on western non-combatants in Afghanistan this month. On April 4th two Associated Press journalists were also shot by an Afghan Police Soldier. Although both attacks do not meet the necessary criteria to be defined as a ‘green-on-blue’ attack (whereby a member of the Afghan National Security Forces, ANSF, kills or injury members of the coalition forces serving alongside them), their similarity is not going unnoticed. In light of the recent spike in violence against journalists and western personnel in Afghanistan it is important to consider if these attacks are an adaptation of green-on-blue attacks committed by similarly motivated offenders or if they represent a different phenomena entirely.

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Perspectives on Terrororism Vol. 8 No. 2

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New issue of Perspectives on Terrorism, the internationally distributed scholarly journal co-sponsored by the CTSS, is now available. Contents include a new study on terrorist group survival and the “Top Dog Hypothesis” by Joe Young and Laura Dugan; an interesting case study of Hezbollah operatives in Egypt, by Matt Levitt; an essay by Heather Gregg on how religious terrorism differs from secular terrorism, a study on how researchers view “Cyberterrorism” by Lee Jarvis and Stuart Macdonald; an extensive bibliography on the Muslim Brotherhood, compiled by Judith Tinnes; and much more. Free access: http://www.terrorismanalysts.com/pt/

 

Best PhD Thesis in Terrorism Studies

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Announcement: Best PhD Thesis in the Field of (Counter-) Terrorism Studies Annual Award by the Terrorism Research Initiative

In order to stimulate the search for excellence in academic research, TRI has created an annual award for the best PhD thesis that has been successfully defended at a university. Submissions for this award are due no later than March 31, 2014.

Details are online at:
http://www.terrorismanalysts.com/pt/index.php/pot/article/view/307/html

Countering the al-Shabaab Insurgency in Somalia

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New Report: Countering the al-Shabaab Insurgency in Somalia: Lessons for the U.S. Special Operations Forces by Graham Turbiville, Josh Meservey, and James Forest (Senior Fellow, CTSS)

February 2014

In this report, the authors argue that al-Shabaab’s current prospects have probably never been so low.  This work provides a meaningful context to al-Shabaab and the Somali milieu.  Al Shabaab has been pushed from all of its major strongholds by a robust international effort, and its violent Salafism has alienated many Somalis.  But it still has teeth.  It continues to harass coalition forces, as well as ordinary Somalis, with improvised explosive devices, suicide bombings, and assassinations.  Its tactics reflect a strategic decision made by its leadership to fight a guerrilla war, a familiar role for a group that thrived by waging an anti-Ethiopian insurgency in the emid-2000s.  This monograph is a useful resource for anyone who wishes to know more about the conflict in the Horn of Africa.

Click here to download a complete copy of this report as a PDF file.

Terrorism & CT Conference: September 2014, Boston

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Announcement:  The STR 8th Annual International Conference (September 2014) will be held in Boston and co-sponsored by UMass Lowell’s Center for Terrorism & Security Studies, and by UMass Boston. Click here for details and the Call for Papers.