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October 16, 2005

What makes terrorists tick?

Baltimore Sun October 9, 2005

Why do suicide bombers and others do what they do? Gary LaFree is chasing that urgent question at a new Maryland research center.

The carpet is spotless, the desk still has the sheen of the furniture store, and criminologist Gary LaFree is huddled over a new computer, exercising part of his database for the first time. The performance is fascinating but chilling: The global maps he's manipulating document the spread of terrorism over time. There's hope that the information stored here can help scholars learn about the nature of terrorism - and eventually help rid the world of it. [...] Before the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, LaFree studied international homicide statistics. Now, he is one of the newest warriors to join the battle against al-Qaida, director of the National Center for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism, or START, at the University of Maryland. It is the first U.S. program funded by the government to study terrorist behavior. And LaFree is charged with studying it fast.

Posted by Emma at October 16, 2005 10:35 AM


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