Terrorism Research Center Receives Funding to Study Ways to Prevent Targeted Violence in U.S. | #schoolsaftey

Researchers at the U of A’s Terrorism Research Center were recently awarded $751,842 from the Department of Homeland Security to study how individuals mobilize toward violence, including violent extremism, school shootings and other forms of mass shootings.

The two-year project is a collaboration between faculty and student researchers at the U of A and the University of South Carolina Department of Criminology & Criminal Justice that leverages data housed across universities to create the most comprehensive data set on mobilization to violence to date.

“Our goal is to make our data and findings more directly accessible and interpretable for Homeland Security officials responsible for keeping the public safe by thwarting future attacks,” says Jeff Gruenewald, a principal investigator on the project and director of the Terrorism Research Center. As part of the project, a data visualization web application will be built that will allow law enforcement and intelligence partners to easily identify trends and patterns between mobilization indicators and types of targeted violence.

Gruenewald says that “this new project directly contributes to our mission of using social science and data analytics to promote safer communities and inform evidence-based policies. By supporting our graduate students and research internship opportunities, it also assists us in training the next generation of researchers and homeland security professionals.”

The TRC has been housed in the Department of Sociology and Criminology at the U of A since 2003. In addition to recent funding from the Department of Homeland Security, the Terrorism Research Center is currently funded by the National Institute of Justice and National Science Foundation. Hundreds of student internships and graduate assistantships have been housed in the TRC during this time over the last two decades. Requests for data related to issues of terrorism, violent extremism, hate crime and human trafficking may be made by contacting the Terrorism Research Center.

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