Navigation Links
Report: Discovery networks hostage-taking a rare terror event

COLLEGE PARK, Md. A new report by terrorism researchers at the University of Maryland concludes that the deadly hostage-taking incident at the Discovery Communications headquarters in suburban Washington, D.C. meets the criteria of a terrorist act a rare one for media organizations and the nation's capital region. Hostage-taking, though, is a familiar pattern in capital-region terror, the researchers add.

The report from the University of Maryland's START Center the federally funded National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism also finds that there has never been any environmentally inspired suicide eco-terrorism in the United States, and probably the world, but draws no conclusions about whether that's what occurred in this case.

START maintains the world's most comprehensive unclassified database of terrorism incidents, and is designed to make it useful to scientists and policy-makers seeking to understand the behavior of terrorists and terror organizations. The report is based on an analysis of this data.

"The use of violence by radical environmentalists is extremely rare, and usually the target is property not people," says Gary LaFree, who directs the University of Maryland START Consortium and its Global Terrorism Database. "We'll count this incident as terrorism the perpetrator has a history of politically inspired activism and his tactics were violent."

START researchers analyzed the following information in the Global Terrorism Database, which includes more than 85,000 incidents worldwide since 1970:

  • Terrorist activity in the District of Columbia and Maryland
  • Media targets in the U.S.
  • Suicide terrorism in the U.S.
  • Hostage situations in the U.S.

The full report is available online.


  • Given the nature of perpetrator James Lee's political and social goals and his use of illegal force, this incident would qualify as a terrorist incident, according to the definition of START's Global Terrorism Database (GTD).
  • Although hostage-takings like the one at the Discovery Communication's headquarters in suburban Washington, D.C. on Sept. 1 are extremely rare globally, representing less than one percent of all terrorist attacks worldwide since 1970, three have occurred in the District of Columbia.
  • Environmentally motivated perpetrators, like the gunman in this event, have been active in the United States since the 1970s.
  • Environmentally motivated attacks almost always have no casualties but have caused tens of millions of dollars in property damage.
  • In the event that the Discovery Communications attacker indeed wore explosives that he intended to detonate, this would be the first recorded incident of environmentally motivated suicide terrorism in the United States, and likely the first worldwide.
  • Journalist and media targets are rare in the U.S. Prior to the events at the Discovery building, the most recent terrorist attacks on media targets in the United States were the 2001 anthrax attacks, which included targets such as The New York Post, CBS, ABC, and NBC, in New York, and American Media Inc. in Boca Raton, Florida.


Contact: Neil Tickner
University of Maryland

Related biology news :

1. New discovery suggests our lungs are innately prone to silicosis and related diseases
2. A plan to promote sustainable US scientific discovery and innovation in the 21st century is proposed in OMICS
3. Discovery opens door to therapeutic development for FSH muscular dystrophy
4. Possible discovery of earliest animal life pushes back fossil record
5. Discovery of possible earliest animal life pushes back fossil record
6. Huntingtons disease discovery provides new hope for treatment
7. Rediscovery: MBL scientists confirm role for mysterious cell component, the nucleolinus
8. Discovery points to new approach for diabetes therapy
9. DNA discovery opens new door to develop tools, therapies for hereditary cancers
10. Discovery of a hepatitis C-related virus in bats may reduce outbreaks in humans
11. Discovery of how coral reefs adapt to global warming could aid reef restoration
Post Your Comments:
(Date:6/15/2016)... 15, 2016 Transparency Market ... Recognition Market by Application Market - Global Industry Analysis Size ... to the report, the  global gesture recognition market ... and is estimated to grow at a CAGR ... 2024.  Increasing application of gesture recognition ...
(Date:6/2/2016)... , June 2, 2016 The ... has awarded the 44 million US Dollar project, for ... Embossed Vehicle Plates including Personalization, Enrolment, and IT Infrastructure ... leader in the production and implementation of Identity Management Solutions. ... January, however Decatur was selected for ...
(Date:5/20/2016)... MINNEAPOLIS , May 20, 2016  VoiceIt ... technology partnership with VoicePass. By working ... user experience.  Because VoiceIt and VoicePass take slightly ... two engines increases both security and usability. ... expressed excitement about this new partnership. ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... SPRING, Md. , June 23, 2016 A ... collected from the crime scene to track the criminal down. ... and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) uses DNA ... Sound far-fetched? It,s not. The ... genome sequencing to support investigations of foodborne illnesses. Put as ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... June, 23, 2016  The Biodesign Challenge (BDC), a ... ways to harness living systems and biotechnology, announced its ... in New York City . ... students, showcased projects at MoMA,s Celeste Bartos Theater during ... , MoMA,s senior curator of architecture and design, and ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... Durham, NC (PRWEB) , ... June 23, 2016 , ... ... Odense University Hospital in Denmark detail how a patient who developed lymphedema after being ... (fat) tissue. The results could change the paradigm for dealing with this debilitating, frequent ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016 On ... session at 4,833.32, down 0.22%; the Dow Jones Industrial Average ... 500 closed at 2,085.45, down 0.17%. has initiated coverage ... INFI ), Nektar Therapeutics (NASDAQ: NKTR ), Aralez ... Inc. (NASDAQ: BIND ). Learn more about these ...
Breaking Biology Technology: