University at Albany
Contact: Mary Hunt (518) 442-5264

Rockefeller's Asal and Rethemeyer Contribute Analyses and Expertise to Congressional Testimony on Terrorism

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(From left) Professors Victor Asal
and Karl Rethemeyer co-direct
the Project on Violent Conflict at
Rockefeller College.

The work of Rockefeller College Professors Victor Asal and Karl Rethemeyer was instrumental in the preparation of a policy brief and testimony to be delivered before the House Armed Services Committee by William Braniff, executive director of the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism (START), on Tuesday, February 4 at 10:00 a.m. START was asked to provide an assessment of Al Qaeda's capabilities and prospects for the future after more than 12 years of concerted efforts by the United States and allied nations to destroy its operational capability.

Featuring START data and analyses from the Global Terrorism Database and Asal and Rethemeyer's  Big, Allied and Dangerous Project (BADD), Braniff will discuss how 2012 was the most active year of terrorism on record and that the six deadliest terrorist groups in 2012 all had alliance connections to al-Qaida. The data places al-Qaida at the center of a lethal list of organizations including the Taliban; Boko Haram; al-Qaida Iraq; Tehrik-e Taliban Pakistan; al-Qaida Arabian Peninsula; and al-Shabaab. Braniff will also speak on al-Qaida's significant influence on the violent jihadist landscape historically, and how this influence continues to be relevant despite the absence of al-Qaida attacks in 2012.

Dr. Karl Rethemeyer explains the connections
between terrorist networks during a presentation
at the Empire State Plaza in Albany

Asal and Rethemeyer, co-directors of the Project on Violent Conflict at Rockefeller College, have taken the study of terrorism and counterinsurgency strategy in new and innovative directions. Asal, an expert in political violence, and Rethemeyer, a noted researcher studying social networks, joined forces to study terrorist networks and create a new way to look at the habits and methods of organizing adopted by these groups. BADD represents an extensive data set on terrorist groups worldwide, focusing on organizational and network dynamics.

Watch START Executive Director William Braniff's testimony before the House Armed Services Committee streamed live

Read a press release from START on Executive Director Braniff's testimony before Congress